Courage, pride, and perseverance.
Those are the three words that come to mind when I think of Henry Josephson’s performance in the 65-64 loss to Baldwinsville, which came just a few days after the passing of his father.
As it was originally planned to be, the game was a “pink out” and raised money for cancer, but, the passing of Jim Josephson added to the meaning of the game.
Henry Josephson provided motivation for the Hornet student section, whose loud chants were energized by a piece of poster board. Josephson’s brother, Charlie Josephson, ignited and took the crowd to another level with his big head picture of him, which he stood loud and tall with throughout the night.
But it was his strength and perseverance that had spectators’ eyes swollen throughout the night. The more people thought about Henry Josephson, his father’s passing, and seeing his entire family in attendance, the more the crowd began to rally.
The crowd was in disbelief over what Henry Josephson was doing. They couldn’t comprehend that he decided to return to action as soon as he did.
He motivated the Hornets and helped them overcome the nine-point deficit that they faced at the end of the first quarter. F-M cut the margin to four by halftime, which set up an epic fourth quarter that saw F-M (2-8) almost come back and win the game.
F-M’s 16 fourth quarter points was holding up and looked like they were going to lead a comeback until Baldwinsville knocked down two three-pointers
Baldwinsville’s sharp-shooters came through when F-M held a two-point lead with seconds left and the crowd was as loud as it was at any point in the game and knocked down a buzzer-beating bank-shot three-pointer.
After the game, when the Hornets entered the locker room, the entire team really praised the way that they played and then head coach Jason Dudzinski reiterated and built on it.
Senior Nick Perry stepped up and did what the coaches have been asking of him throughout the season. He lifted the mood in the locker room by praising their effort and reminding them how hard they played, which his teammates would continue to do throughout the game.
Coach Jason Dudzinski would use that as a jumping point for his postgame speech. He went on to say, “you guys showed some major guts and I don’t know many guys who could do what Henry (Josephson) did tonight.”
It was the happiest that a locker room can be after a loss.
On Dudzinski’s way out of the locker room, a spectator told him, “you guys became a team tonight,” a few words that help ease the frustrating end to the game and give the team a reason to look forward to the rest of the season.
When the loss soaked in later that night, Nick Perry said, “I’ve never been more proud of a team than I was tonight. Every single person on this team made that game one that the F-M community will never forget.”
The unforgettable atmosphere defined how the F-M community united and wanted to support the heart of the basketball team at a time when he and his family needed it.