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Dallastown team manager takes his shot | Sports Spotlight

Jonah Stefko made the most of his first chance to play varsity basketball.

DALLASTOWN, Pa. — To truly appreciate the big moment from Monday night, you have to know what went into it.

"This is my third year managing basketball for Dallastown," said Wildcat senior Jonah Stefko, as practice started behind him.

In his 11th season as the Dallastown boys' basketball coach, Mike Grassel knows what makes a good team manager.

"A guy who shows up every day, happy to be here, responsible, gets his job done," said Grassel. "Jonah has raised the bar."

Before the season tipped off, the Dallastown student-athletes came up with an idea to get Jonah in a game. 

The only one who needed convincing was Jonah. 

"He said, 'No, I'm the manager. This is my role. I'm here to keep the clock and film away games,' but the players were really instrumental in expressing to him that this was a show of gratitude," recalled Grassel.

This week, Jonah traded in running the clock, for running up and down the court.

"I felt nervous, very nervous," said Stefko.

"I've seen him every day of basketball season for the past two years and just seeing him on the court and in the uniform [was] awesome," added senior Conner Barto.

In Dallastown's game again York Tech, Jonah starts the game with a layup.  He knows there wasn't much defense on that first bucket, so after some more convincing, he goes back into the game.

"I felt more confident, cause the first time, I felt very nerve-racking because I was the first one on that court," recalled Stefko.

This time the Wildcats knew something that their opponent doesn't.  

"He comes in here to practice every day and knocks down those three-pointers and when I saw him shoot that three, it looked like it was going in right away," said Barto with a smile.

"The three-point shot. That's probably my favorite," said Stefko.  "A wide-open look. Chase McClain passed it to me. It was pretty good."

"That one hit you right in the heart," said Grassel.  "I mean, not only the look on his face when he made the shot, but the look on all of his teammates' faces, and the student section and the parents. I'd be lying if I said that doesn't rank up there as one of the top, probably the top experiences I've had."

The celebration for the newest sharpshooter on the team continues off the court.

"A lot of people were happy to see me throughout the halls," said Stefko.

"Actually, sitting in second period today, he walked into my room and a bunch of people wanted his autograph," said Barto.  "It was awesome."

While Jonah's legend has certainly spread, Coach hopes there's a lesson that spreads with it.

"We all have value," recalled Grassel.  "Monday night's speech was we could all learn a little bit from Jonah."

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