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Kennedy quarterback Jacobus sacked by jury duty

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CEDAR RAPIDS It sounded like the ultimate in football gamesmanship, but it wasn't. Not at all.

Cedar Rapids Kennedy didn't completely know who its starting quarterback was going to be Friday night in its Metro showdown with Cedar Rapids Prairie until very late Tuesday afternoon.

The Cougars thought it would be senior Derek Jacobus. He helped lift Kennedy past Cedar Rapids Washington in the season opener last week.

But his availability was in question, not because of injury or ineligibility. Because of jury duty.

Yes, seriously.

"Twenty some years of doing this, and this is a first," said Kennedy Coach Tim Lewis. "I thought I'd seen it all."

Lewis didn't even know the 18-year-old Jacobus had been called until quarterbacks coach Matt Miers said something to him off the cuff Monday night. Everyone's belief was Jacobus would show up Tuesday morning, say he was a high-school student and be dismissed.

As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, he still was at the courthouse and hadn't been dismissed.

"All the way up through lunch, I was like 'Holy crap,'" Jacobus said.

Jacobus turned 18 on July 23 and received his jury duty notice in the mail just two weeks later. Keep in mind, there are people in their 60s and 70s who have never been randomly selected.

"It was unbelievable," he said. "I don't even know how I ended up getting picked."

"I just kind of blew it off, thinking that he's going to walk in there at 8 o'clock, tell them he's a high-school kid and they'll let him go," Lewis said. "Then I got a text this morning from his mom that there was a pool of 40, and they're going to select 22 for a two-and-a-half week trial. I just thought 'No way.'"

Jacobus said he finally was interviewed by attorneys involved in the trial and let go. He got to practice only about a half-hour late.

Though he ended up missing a day of school, he got a great education on the American judicial system. By the way, he's eligible to be selected again for jury duty in another two years.

"I think it would have been very cool to do it," he said of being involved in a trial. "Just not during football season."

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