The Cannon Courier
Senior night was a special night for four basketball players, three cheerleaders and a mascot, but the best moment of the evening came when CCHS honored their No. 1 fan, Jonah McMackins. You see, McMackins has been in a wheelchair since he was born prematurely at 30 weeks.
He has not let his cerebral palsy stop him from cheering on the Lions and Lionettes either on the sidelines at basketball games, or in the stands at the stadium or field. He also knows his sports knowledge, too. He is so smart, after college he could take over the Cannon Courier sports section, including this column space, or he could coach CCHS to a state title.
On senior night, he got the biggest cheer of the night and a standing ovation from the near sellout crowd at Robert A. Harris Gymnasium as he received his award. However, the best moment came when both CCHS basketball teams stood with him at center court for a photo, while deserves to be on the cover of national sports magazines.
His parents, Amy and Kevin McMackins could not be prouder of their son, including the unwavering support he receives from the entire Cannon County athletic program. His fandom of the local teams started in grammar school at Westside, and it has continued through all four years at CCHS.
"It was great, I do not know what else to say about it," Mother Amy McMackins said. "This is a great county that they would do something like that to recognize him for being their biggest fan, because he would go to any game that we would take him to. He just loves it."
Besides the support, he also receives from his fellow athletic classmates, he also has the ear of both CCHS basketball coaches, Lions head coach Matt Rigsby and Lionettes head coach Jonathan Odom. McMackins just wishes both would listen to his advice for their respective teams.
"It was extremely cool," Rigsby said of McMackins being honored during senior night. "I got emotional in that moment, and that was a great moment and awesome moment. Credit to those who put that together. If Lord willing Jonah would not miss a game or practice. He is a diehard supporter, and not just basketball, but any sport here at CCHS."
Odom added, "No one deserves that honor more that Jonah McMackins, and I know from a personal standpoint I will miss talking basketball with him every day during lunch. He is a student of the game of the basketball. He gives insightful thoughts, and you can have open basketball questions with him. The neat thing about him he cares so deeply about all the sports programs here. So, we are definitely going to miss him. It was a tremendous honor for me personally to be a part of something like that, and Jonah was more deserving of that honor. He has a future in the sports industry in some role that is what he wants to do, and he is such a determined individual. We are going to miss Jonah, and we told him all season he has an open door to our practice or this gym. It was very special to honor him, and we are very thankful for all he has meant to our program."