Bloomfield football earned their ninth state championship this season. And while having your family in the stands for a title showdown may seem like a given, for one Warhawks team leader it wasn’t always a guarantee.
Jamie Butler-Harris is the kind of mother you hear cheering in the stands.
I can block everything out except her,” said Ky’juon Butler.
“He don’t want his mom hovering over him like, ‘you OK baby? You Want an ice pack? You need a band-aid?’” his other joked.
Ky’juon always knows when his mom is in the stands as his games.
“I try to block her out all the time. It don’t work,” he said.
But the silence when she hasn’t been there was even harder to ignore.
“It happened when I was walking home…and it was happening. I asked the police officer what was going on and his didn’t tell me.”
Jamie Butler-Harris went to jail when her son was a sophomore at Bloomfield High School.
“All I knew is that as I was being carted off, I remember his friend’s dad saying ‘Don’t worry mom, I got him,’” Butler-Harris said.
Ky’juon stayed with neighbors or teammates from the football team, turning down moving in with his father in Waterbury so he could keep his one constant: football.
“Football, basketball, that’s what kept me sane because like, if I was mad I could always just go on the football field, take my anger out there,” he explained.
Back on the football field, hard work led Ky’juon to a state championship with the Warhawks.
“Everybody knew that I could do it and I hadn’t done it since my freshman year. This was the statement year that I could be the leader to bring my team to the championship,” Ky’juon said.
Bloomfield beat Haddam-Killingworth 25 to 7.
Ky’juon rushed for 151 yards and scored one touchdown.
“It was good but I wish it would have been longer,” he said.
Not longer than the time Ky’juon spent without his parents, not just his mom, but dad too.
“I was gone five years, I missed out on a whole bunch of stuff,” BJ Jones, Ky’juon’s father, explained.
The same man who hoped to take Ky-juon when his mother was in jail served his own time.
“I was just in and out for basically probably like the first 14 years of his life, I was in and out all the time.”
But Jones won’t forget exactly what he happened the first time he got out.
“He was waiting at the door for me when I came home…he was about 5 or 6, it was the first time I seen him shoot and it went in, you know you can’t really shoot when you’re that young. It just went in and I knew he was special. I knew he’d be an athlete.”
When Butler is on the field, he gives both his parents a reason to keep cheering for something.
“I could have been having the worst Friday in the history of all worst days but once I get to the football field, all my stress goes away…he taught me that there was just way more love in the world than anybody ever had to give,” his mother said.
Butler will graduate in the spring. He says he’s looking to keep playing football in prep school in the hopes of continuing his playing career in college.