Minn. Homecoming King hopefuls crown fellow student with cancer - KMSP-TV

4 Minn. Homecoming King hopefuls crown fellow student with bone cancer

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In Zimmerman, Minn., there are four finalists for Homecoming King, all four eager to be crowned, excited about the opportunity.

Just days before the announcement, the student council approached the boys with an idea that none of them could turn down.

It is certainly a stereotype but when it comes to homecoming royalty, the guys chosen are usually athletes. Such the case this year in Zimmerman, three football players: Craig Steiskal, Hunter Smith and Lee Christopherson all finalists along with soccer player David Molinary

Winning for these athletes came in a much bigger way this year now that they called an audible, formulating a play involving senior Jonah Skrove

"That plan, what it would do, how it would affect Jonah, his family, how it would feel -- I felt like that would be more of a memory for everyone than just who won the crown," Smith said.

Skrove, who is in this year's play, is back at school after a lengthy absence. Bone cancer not only took away his junior year, but also his right leg.

"It's made me a lot more appreciative of everything," Skrove said.

That appreciation hit a new level during the homecoming pep rally.

"I went on the mic and said, ‘Thank you for this honor, but we as a court believe that there is someone more deserving of this crown,'" Smith said.

That's when the four young men started walking towards Skrove.

"When they first started walking towards me it was a little bit of nervousness," Skrove said.

"I announced to everybody, ‘Jonah Skrove, we believe you are a better fitting king than any of us,'" Smith said.

Skrove was shocked.

"I was like, 'Oh you got to be kidding me' -- I didn't see that coming at all," Skrove said.

The crowd went wild, then started chanting Jonah's name. There wasn't a dry eye in the gym.

"Not going to lie, when we crowned him, I was holding back tears," Christopherson said.

"You don't think about it until it happens to someone so close to you," Steiskal said.

"All of us kind of wanted to make his senior year better than anyone else's senior year and compensate for that time lost," Smith said.

Zimmerman is a small school known for fighting through adversity when playing bigger schools, but this may have been the school's biggest win of all.

"He's fighting like we do in sports. He's not the biggest person, but he's always there fighting so that's why I say he's the fighting spirit of Zimmerman," Christopherson said.

"You can never expect what people are going to do. You have to give them the benefit of the doubt that they will do something better than you think they will, or they will become something better than you would actually would have guessed," Skrove said.

Skrove finished chemo in August and at this point, there are no signs it has spread. For the 17-year-old, the surprises keep coming. For his Make-A-Wish, he's going to Japan where his older brother who is in the military is stationed.

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