Looking back at our top five stories from September, which include features on some athletes with extraordinarily rich narratives.
Friday nights are known for high school football games underneath the bright lights all across the nation. And in Rapid City, South Dakota, things are no different.
However, for St. Thomas More High School, big “plays’ don’t just stop on Friday nights. They extend to Sunday mornings.
The football team feeds the homeless every Sunday near Roosevelt Park. It’s a tradition that started about five years ago with head coach Wayne Sullivan, and his wife, Lorrie, and it’s a tradition that is turning players into respectful and generous young men.
Dave Stevens has lived arguably one of the greatest sports stories that you’ve never heard of.
The 50-year-old, who resides in Bristol, Conn., became the first and only person born without legs to play college football and minor league baseball. And he didn’t have prosthetic limbs either. He “ran” using his arms.
Three feet, two inches tall? Doesn’t matter. He tried out for the Dallas Cowboys and the 1984 Olympic baseball team, he pinch hit for Darryl Strawberry, and he won seven Emmy Awards while working for ESPN.
No different from cancer, severe mental illness is a disease that affects the entire family.
Former middle-distance runner and three-time Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton, 48, knows that all too well. As a top athlete, she has performed on the world’s biggest stage, but the spotlight never illuminated her more than after she was outed by a reporter for living a double life as high-priced call girl, happily working the bustling city streets and sheets of Las Vegas.
Suzy, a dedicated wife and mother by day, transformed into “Kelly,” the escort, by night. She had up to five clients a shift. She was making $600 an hour. But, the thrill of it all is what really hooked her.
The Woodlands JV football team was looking for their first win of the season against Tompkins. They were more than hungry for it, but down by one point, with 12 seconds left and nothing left to do but punch it into the end zone, they took a knee and gave up the win.
That’s because on the play before, a Tompkins player was so seriously injured, he had to be loaded into a LifeFlight helicopter.
If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of U.S. rowing silver medalist Gevvie Stone. She’s the one moving swiftly on top of the water and up the ranks in medicine.
The 31-year-old doctor from Newton, Mass. has balanced Olympic training and medical school and impressed everyone along the way, managing not to tip the proverbial boat.
“There are a number of rowers turned physicians, and I think that we could all be classified as headstrong and ambitious,” Stone said. “I think that seems to work well for competing as a rower and being a good physician.”