JT Brooks honored at Cherokee High School baseball senior night


ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – A Tri-Cities athlete who has inspired thousands by his response to a tragic injury, was honored at his school Monday night.

JT Brooks was paralyzed on the football field nearly two years ago during a scrimmage.

He’s a senior at Cherokee High School and is on the football and baseball teams.

Monday night was the close of one chapter, and the start of another.

It was his last night on the baseball diamond, one of five Cherokee High School varsity baseball seniors honored for senior night.

He was even surprised, “We will retire the number 5, forever,” the announcer said.

His signature number five, retired. His younger brother, Jacob, will be the only player able to wear it in the future.

“In honor of your perseverance, hard work and dedication,” the announcer said.

Then, it was game time.

JT hit the field as short stop, his original position.

“It brought back a lot of memories, doing a prayer for the national anthem, getting fired up, bringing back chills,” Brooks said.

It was the last time on the field for Brooks as number five.

“I mean I really had no idea, but it’s truly a blessing. I want to thank everybody that was involved, my dad, coach Carter, everybody,” Brooks said.

Brooks spent the rest of the game calling pitches for the catcher, alongside Coach Matthew Carter.

“As a coach you think you’re going to put it’s your responsibility to mentor these kids and give them the ins and outs of life but he’s shown me what true determination and perseverance is,” Coach Carter said about JT.

Brooks said the past four years have gone by fast.

“I’ve laughed and I’ve cried here. These 4 years have been amazing,” Brooks said.

He’s ready for the next chapter in life.

“I love the 4 years I’ve spent here and I love the people. It’s been really good. I’m ready for the new chapter in my life,” Brooks said.

That new chapter in JT’s life starts when he graduates from Cherokee High School coming up on May 26.

After Brooks graduates – he’s headed to Emory and Henry College.

Back in January, he accepted a graduate assistant position with the school’s football program.

His mother told us he also got academic scholarships.

Brooks plans to study business.

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