Photo courtesy of Kathy Plonka-Spokane (Wash.) Spokesman-Review
Younger brother, Jerry Louie-McGee, 17, caught eight touchdown passes this season and ran for seven more

Brothers Tackle Football Dreams While Keeping Their Medicine Close

Rodney Harwood

Tucker and Jerry Louie-McGee learned many things as brothers growing up on the Coeur d’Alene reservation in north Idaho. One of the most important things they learned was how to dream big.

Playing college football has been the goal since they played Coeur d’Alene Warrior flag football 10 years ago. Tucker, an 18-year-old senior, saw his dream come true this year when he was offered a scholarship to play at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho. The 6-foot-1, 168-pound quarterback was the 5A Inland Empire League’s co-most valuable player. He passed for 1,320 yards and 13 touchdowns, and rushed for eight more.

Jerry, a 17-year-old junior slot receiver/tailback, caught eight TD passes, ran for seven more, and returned a punt for a score this season. He still has another year of high school ball, but it’s only a matter of time before the second-team all-state selection attracts his own college scholarship offers.

Behind all this is a story of one family’s commitment to each other.

The Louie-McGees were living in the reservation town of Worley, Idaho (population 360), where the local high school has 126 students and an 8-man football program. Wade McGee, Cherokee, and his wife Debbie, Coeur d’Alene, knew they had a choice to make regarding the future of their sons.

“I’ve never forced my kids to live my dreams. I wanted them to have their own dreams,” said Wade, who holds seven football records at Haskell Indian Nations University. “I’m not just some proud dad. I’m a trainer and I could see, even in elementary school, they had huge potential. So I went to the sweathouse and prayed. ‘What do I need to do for my boys?’ ”

The answer that came to him was to leave the reservation.


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