Although Jermaine Kearse was 1,000 miles away preparing for the biggest showcase in professional sports, that didn’t stop him from relaying a direct message to his hometown of Lakewood.
On Friday, during one of hundreds of Blue Friday celebrations taking place throughout Western Washington for the Seattle Seahawks, the City of Lakewood ceremoniously raised its 12th Man Flag in front of City Hall, led by Mayor Don Anderson.
The day was also a chance for the 100 or so people who attended to celebrate Kearse, the Lakes High graduate and Seahawk whose overtime touchdown catch in the NFC Championship punched Seattle’s ticket to Super Bowl XLIX against the New England Patriots. Throughout the crowd, people held up large signs bearing the Sports Illustrated cover that featured Kearse’s now-iconic catch. Others wore his jersey.
And in return, the crowd got to hear a customized message that Kearse himself offered to the City that Communications Manager Brent Champaco read aloud.
“First and foremost, I just want to thank God for giving me an opportunity to not only represent myself and my family, but to be able to represent the City of Lakewood all these years,” Kearse’s message started. “Truly an honor to say I am from the City of Lakewood.”
“Want to thank all my friends and family and all my supporters who believed in me from the get-go, and who continuously have my back, no matter any outcome. Just thankful and appreciative."
Kearse aside, the person who stole the show was the flag-raiser himself. No, not Mayor Anderson, although he did help. Instead, it was the Mayor’s grandson, Luke, who not only helped raise the flag but waved a Seahawk towel, whipping the crowd into a frenzy.
To see pictures and videos of the flag-raising, visit the City of Lakewood’s Facebook page .
One more time: #GoHawks #IamLakewood