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  • Writer's pictureCorie Craig

Forgotten Jersey

In the fall of 2019, the yearbook staff got word of a track jersey left inside of a closet, instead of hanging up in the lobby like the others. We set off on a search to try and figure out how, and why, this jersey was not with the rest. When we arrived at the field house, we were taken to Lee Cook's jersey in the football locker room. This is not what we were looking for, and when we asked about “the one in a closet” we just got confused looks.

Reluctantly, the coach took us to the track closet in the coaches office, and sure enough, there was a plaque with a track jersey inside with the name Michael Casseri. The coaches didn’t even know the jersey was in there. They were just as dumbfounded as we were.

Michael was a PCHS junior in 2002, originally born in Anchorage, Alaska. Michael was a Governor's School student, enrolled for math, science, and technology, and a member of the MACC Math team. Michael was also 18th in his class of 2004, a track participant, a basketball player, a football player, and a baseball player. In Michael’s sophomore year, he won second place in discus for track at the state level, and in the same year won 4th in discus at the Prestigious Taco Bell Invitational. His parents were both teachers at the high school.

Sadly, on December 14th, 2002, in a car ride home from his girlfriend’s house after a basketball win against Radford, Michael was in a fatal car accident. The accident affected the school and teachers heavily. In old articles, he is always described to be one of the nicest people you would’ve ever met. He’s said to be caring, and very thankful for everything anyone did for him, even if it was small.

After the passing of Casseri, there was a four thousand dollar scholarship made in his name. There was a golf tournament to raise money to fund the scholarship. Unfortunately, the scholarship was too ambitious and ended in 2011 due to lack of funding. The scholarship ran from 2004-2010. The scholarship website, like the jersey, was forgotten and hasn’t been updated since 2011. His parents have since moved back to Alaska.

The plaque should have been hung up long before we found it in the fall. The jersey now lives in the yearbook room for everyone to see and carry on the memory of Michael Casseri.

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