Pictured is Dylan and Austin Cluck with their aunt, Robin Finley who is also a former Basketball Coach and Athletic Director.
Contributed by Robin Finley
Many of us are enjoying basketball this time of year. We see the basketball athletes getting to engage in competition, hear the cheers and jeers of the crowd, and experience the ups and downs of our favorite local teams. This season has been so much more than that for two young men and all those who prayed for them. Senior, Austin Cluck, and junior, Dylan Cluck are solid high school basketball players, playing for Cedarville High School. When you know their story, you might have a tough time not cheering for the underdogs, even if you are from the opposing team.
You see, Austin and Dylan were in a potentially fatal car wreck in July of 2019, on their way home from the gym. They spent many days in the hospital recovering from their injuries. Hundreds of people prayed for the recovery of both young men. But let’s go back in time when the boys were in second and third grade. You would find them playing Little League Basketball in Cedarville with their dad, Frank Cluck, coaching them. Their dad coached all their little league teams and has coached their travel teams every year since they started.
Coach Cluck coached high school basketball for several years but wanted to be available to coach his own sons as they grew up, so he took a job away from coaching high school players. Austin and Dylan played many, many games growing up and enjoyed the fellowship of their friends with whom they played ball with. Both boys not only having dreams to play ball in high school but also dreams of college play. Both enjoyed successful years during junior high, playing at Alma.
Austin had a successful sophomore year and was looking forward to his junior year while Dylan was looking forward to his sophomore year, where once again they could play on the same team together. Then on just a regular day, the boys were in a tragic car wreck. So many people prayed for these two young men as the news was not good. With each day the boys improved; it was a long journey with gradual signs of improvement. Austin, surprisingly, was able to play ball his junior year; he amazed us all. Dylan, still improving from his injuries was not able to play his sophomore year.
Dylan and Austin had looked forward to playing together on a team during their high school years. Now, they are typical brothers; they get into arguments with each other but will fight you if you come against a brother. Their relationship gained great strength as they both navigated their way through recovery. It seemed that the brothers might not get to be teammates for Austin’s senior year. But once again, God had other plans.
Now let’s get back to this season.
Show up to any Cedarville basketball game and you will see Austin and Dylan Cluck once again playing the sport they love on the same team with their dad, Coach Cluck (who came out of retirement to be their coach) leading the ship. Both Cluck boys have had a successful season if you are looking at it from the outside. But if you have been on this journey with the boys, on the inside, praying for their recovery then you see something quite different than a successful season. You will see a miracle season! As I watch these two young men play, I usually shed at least a few tears each game thinking about their journey and that I am watching a miracle in action.
Basketball photos contributed by Malinda Mizell