Muskies adopt honorary member

Noah, center, is an inspiration to adopted teammates and fellow Muskies.

Benjamin Wilks and Leah Ulatowski

Sharing the same physical blood is not the only determinant of brotherhood. Brotherhood can be created through a bond, and that bond can grow out of a single special moment in one’s life and have an everlasting influence on those involved. Lakeland’s very own football team is a perfect example of brotherhood; the football team recently welcomed another brother into their family, and his name is Noah Weyker.

The Muskies’ newest little brother has battled re-occurring brain tumors since his diagnosis at the age of five. Weyker has taken on more as a kid than most people will in their entire lives.

There is a chance he will never be able to actually play on a football field, or put on a Muskie helmet, but the Lakeland football team ensured he knew he was a part of Lakeland College’s family on Nov. 5 when they made him an honorary member of the team.

“We pretty much just had signing day like any other player,” said Malcolm Blakely, sophomore business major. “We gave him a jersey, and now he is a member of our team. He is one of our brothers.”

The football players huddled around Weyker as he signed a letter-of-intent, and the entire room erupted in cheers. They handed him his official Muskie jersey of gold and blue—of course, Weyker’s jersey is number one.

According to the Sheboygan Press, in the midst of all the excitement, there was a short pause when Weyker removed his black Cedar Grove-Belgium Rockets hat in order to adequately fit the uniform over his head.

It is possible Weyker’s brave revelation of his battle scars put life into perspective for many in the room that day; however, the crowd soon resumed the celebration of Weyker’s bravery and accomplishments, perhaps with more vigor than they had before.

“He made me realize that there are people that go through a lot in life. Never take anything for granted,” said Jovan Toland, sophomore and business major. “To me [Weyker] is a person I can look up to. I can just think about the kid and all my problems go away because mine aren’t that big compared to his.”

Brothers serve as some of the best friends one will ever have in a lifetime, but they can also be one’s biggest supporters. The Lakeland football team was given the opportunity to befriend and encourage Weyker through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation.

The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation takes children and adolescents with pediatric brain tumors and matches them to college sports teams that they think would be a good fit.

The program was started by Jaclyn Murphy and her father after Murphy found herself in situation similar to Weyker’s and the Northwestern women’s lacrosse team took her under their wing.

Of course, the pairing of a youth and a team is in no way a one sided support system. Weyker returned to Lakeland College on Nov. 9 to see his brothers play Concordia Chicago.

He stayed the entirety of the game and watched his brothers give what was probably their best game this season after they blew Concordia out 62 to 7.

It is clear Weyker serves as an avid fan and supporter of the team. Additionally, his courage in the face of difficult circumstance is an inspiration to the entire team.

“It feels good because we have one more person on our team that will support us and a strong person that’s been dealing with a lot,” said Blakley.

There’s a quote by American actress Jane Wyman that almost perfectly captures events surrounding Weyker’s induction into the Muskie family: “The opportunity for brotherhood presents itself every time you meet a human being.”

It seems as though the Muskie football players were always meant to meet Weyker.

The athletes cannot express how much joy it brings them to connect with and support their newest little brother; however, Weyker himself has provided more inspiration to the Muskies and the Lakeland community than they could ever hope to return to him.