SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - South Bend Adams senior Josh Lerman is all about hockey.
"Hockey has always been my thing," Josh said.
It’s more than just a thing. Lerman has scored 57 goals in just 41
games. One of those goals was the overtime game winner in the South Bend City Championship, which was voted the No. 1 play on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
"It was awesome," Josh said. "I remember waking up with one of my friends texting me, and I was like, no way. Just couldn’t believe it."
It was an awesome moment for a special player.
"He’s the most talented kid I’ve ever coached, by far," Adams hockey coach Mike Jamieson said. "He just does things with the puck that no one can do. He never gives up."
That never-give-up attitude was sparked in November for Josh.
"It’s sad," Josh said. "Just got to get through it."
Josh’s mother, Lisa, passed away after her third diagnosis with breast cancer. She was 51 years old.
"I thought she would get through it again," Josh said. "It was tough just seeing the different stages of it get worse but just used it as motivation."
Josh was more motivated than ever and decided to dedicate his senior season on the ice to his mother.
"She always told me, 'You can do better and to keep pushing yourself,'" Josh said. "I think that’s really rubbing off on me."
Josh’s game has soared this season. He leads the state with goals scored and is just six points away from 100 on the year.
"She would love to see him out there working hard and playing," said Josh's father, Billy Lerman. "I think it shows that he has the ability to face a lot of adversity and fight through it. I’m just proud of how he’s approached the whole situation."
Josh is approaching every night on the ice and everything he does with the same goal in mind: to make his mother proud.
"I just feel like you have to push yourself to your hardest all of the time," Josh said. "I’m playing for her."
As of right now, Josh will graduate from Adams high school in the spring and attend the University of Arizona in the fall, where he plans to play club hockey.
But on Friday night, Josh's sole focus is advancing in the state tournament against St. Joseph while always trying to make his mother proud.