WESTMORELAND COUNTY — In December 2020, 18-year old Brandon Peterson was tragically hit and killed by a tractor trailer along route 119 in Westmoreland County. He’d graduated from Southmoreland High School just six months earlier. Peterson was a star on the basketball, track and field and football teams at Southmoreland High School.
This season, the Scotties are honoring their former teammate, and making sure his memory and legacy are with him every time they take the field.
“He cared about everyone, like, he wanted to make everyone laugh,” said senior wide receiver and cornerback, JJ Bloom.
What Peterson brought to the Scotties football team was truly indescribable.
“He made an impact,” said Head Coach David Keefer.
“Not only on the football team but you know, in the school district, community he’s really going to be remembered in a fond way.”
The team is remembering a life lost far too soon with stickers, in Scotties’ red, on the backs of their helmets. It was an idea by the coaching staff that’s a reminder of a dear friend and former teammate.
“Pete 15,” senior wide receiver and cornerback Isaac Trout beamed as he showed me.
“We look at those every single time we put them on.”
“It really makes you think ‘I want to play as good as him’,” added Bloom.
“I want to be, like, good as him. I know he’s watching us. I want to be proud of what we do. I want to give, like, 100% on the field, because I know he has what he would want us to do.”
The team’s “why” was a simple one. They wanted to honor Peterson, while continuing to share stories of the legacy he left behind.
“It allows people to understand that, you know, it’s not just about football,” explained Keefer. “It’s about people.”
“He was so big for the school, so big for us as people,” said Trout.
“We wanted to do something for him.”
Yet the stickers have a bigger purpose. They’re helping the Scotties and their community heal.
“When you have somebody that’s young and future so promising, I think the fact that a lot of people in the community came together in a big way after his loss,” said Keefer.
The Scotties also held a moment of silence in Peterson’s memory in their season opener against McGuffey.