When Chelsea’s Jack Bush was 5 years old his parents noticed he was slower than most of the kids he was playing soccer with. They didn’t think much of it until it became more of a limp. His mother, Laura, a pediatric emergency room nurse at U-M’s Children’s Hospital, decided to take their only son for X-rays.
The hospital called the family later that same night. The diagnosis was Perthes disease, a rare childhood condition in which the blood supply to the femur head is cut off and the bone’s cells die, causing major problems at the hip joint.
Jack had to be kept from running and sleep in braces every night, which is tough for any 5 year old but even worse for one who grew up in a sports family especially when his father Brad was an assistant football coach at Eastern Michigan University. Running was particularly dangerous because, with dead cells in the femur head, it wouldn’t take much to cause a dislocation. Jack’s picture was posted in the school with orders not to allow him to run at recess or attend gym class.
Fast forward several years to 2015 and it’s the Division 3 state State Championship game at Ford Field in Detroit where Jack has helped lead his Bulldog team to with his throwing and his running! In what can be only defined as a blessing and maybe even a miracle Jack has no signs of Perthes as he breaks several tackles and carries the ball for a first down. Jack would finish the season with over 1,700 passing yards, 17 touchdown passes, and 9 rushing touchdowns. Not bad for a young quarterback who shared playing time the first half of the season and who many thought as a young child would probably walk with pain or a limp, let alone be able to run.
That championship game was the greatest football moment in Jack’s life. The place was packed with Chelsea fans cheering for their Bulldogs. It was the first time Chelsea had ever made it to the state championship game and hopefully not the last.
“I’ve been playing football for as long as I can remember,’ says Jack who also plays basketball and baseball. “Football is by far my favorite sport. I think it’s mainly to me being around it with my dad my whole life.”
Jack, who’s father Brad is the Head Coach at Chelsea, feels a lot of pressure at times because of the name and situation he is in, being coaches son. But he doesn’t let it affect him on the field because he has a job to do and he knows what it is so he shrugs off the detractors.
“It’s hard at times. I get ridiculed a lot, get called names. People cry favoritism so I feel I really have to prove myself more,” said Jack. “I sometimes feel like there is a bit extra pressure because of that. But I know better, but still, it can be tough.”
Jack proved any critics wrong last season and is hoping for an even better season this year as he has secured the number 1 position. He has looked sharp in pre-season scrimmages and has remained very focused.
Like his favorite quarterback Peyton Manning Jack does most of his talking on the field. He tries to emulate him with his decision making and maintaining grace under pressure. When Jack feels pressure in the pocket he knows when to make the right decision. But he also knows when to take off and get the extra yardage needed.
Chelsea lost many great players from that championship team last year but are reloaded for another possible championship run. But they have a very tough schedule ahead of them as usual, starting with their opening game at Wayne State against state champion runner-ups River Rouge.
“We have a very young team but we have a very fast team,” said Jack. ” We have a lot of guys coming back from last season and we are going to need different players to step up. We have high expectations this year.”
Jack has attended several quarterback camps including A4 QB Camp and Northwestern. He not only excels on the field but in the classroom with a 3.88-grade point average and he takes several AP classes. Jack lives in Chelsea with his parents and his siblings, Janie and Grace.
“I’m really looking forward to this season,” Jack stated. “I’m hoping for an even better season than last and I hope I can help the team out even more, and hoping we can finish.”