Jermaine Kearse's hometown of Lakewood reacts to trade

KING 5'S Heather Graf went to Jermaine Kearse's old stomping grounds in Lakewood to see how people there are reacting to the trade.

Until now, Jermaine Kearse had spent his entire college and professional career in Seattle. It's something he loved, because Kearse is a local guy from the City of Lakewood.

KING 5 visited his old stomping grounds on Friday, to see how people in Lakewood were reacting to news of Kearse's trade to the New York Jets.

"It was kind of sad today, for everyone here at Lakes High School," said Kearse's high school football coach, Dave Miller.  "We've all been hearing rumors all week and I was hopeful they were just rumors. Then when I first heard it, my heart sunk, because it's been so special to watch him with the Seahawks."

Kearse graduated from Lakes High School in 2008.  

After that, he played football at the University of Washington before being signed as an undrafted free agent by the Seahawks in 2012.

His move to New York marks the end of an era for the Lakewood native.

"Everyone here was pretty sad, but we also talked about how awesome it's been to watch him with the Huskies and the Seahawks. How many times do you get a chance to do that with kids, you know?  It's very rare," said Miller.

Miller texted Kearse on Friday upon hearing news of the trade.

"I just wanted to reach out and support him, because I know it's a tough time for him right now. Let him know we're here, and I know God has got great things ahead for him. He just thanked me and said it was bittersweet, obviously leaving teammates he had that are brothers," said Miller.

Kearse has also been active in the Lakewood community during his time in Seattle. That's something Miller says his hometown will always be grateful for.  

"As much as we'll miss him, I'm sure he'll still be active in the community, still come back and give back to the kids like he has. For our military kids that need him so much, he's been an awesome supporter, and that won't change," said Miller. "He's just an amazing person, and that's probably what we're most proud of."

The coach also hopes the move might lead to new opportunities for his former player.

"Maybe be in more of a passing offense to where he might get some more opportunities, and just see what happens," said Miller. "I know with Jermaine; he's going to give it his all every day and do the same things with that team that he did with the Seahawks."

So what is Miller's favorite Kearse catch during his time as a Seahawk?

The coach said it would have to be Kearse's game-winning catch in the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers. Kearse caught the 35-yard touchdown pass in overtime.

"My wife and I sat there and cried, because he was able to overcome a tough start in that game. It just shows you what Jermaine is about. He always believes in himself. He's not going to give up. He always finds a way," said Miller. "We're going to be there for him no matter what, and we're excited for the next step of his journey."

Jermaine's wife Marisa shared a heartfelt message of thanks to the community on her Facebook account:

"Saying I'm proud of this man is an understatement. Thankful for the INCREDIBLE friendships + unforgettable memories we've made in Seattle. I don't normally do long posts, so walk with me... >>> meeting during our Dawg days, graduating college, witnessing his disappointment of going undrafted, finding his way to the seahawks, watching him grind + grow physically, mentally, spiritually... a sunset proposal, a long-distance engagement, a game winning catch, winning a Super Bowl, desiring to give back, starting a foundation, getting married, honoring our military and their families, getting pregnant, chairing multiple Seahawks Women's events, giving birth to our daughter... Thankful. Thankful. Thankful. Just a couple kids from the 253. Our journey continues, to the Big Apple as a family we go ❤️ #godisgood #allthetime"

© 2017 KING-TV


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