Inspirational Missouri Youth Named Runner-Up for Inspireum Football Awards
January 14, 2012High School Inspireum Football Awards
Tornado survivor Quinton Anderson of Joplin serves as inspirational leader of team despite losing both parents and sustaining serious injuries
Bend, OR -- Quinton Anderson of Joplin, Missouri was named today as Runner-up of the third annual Inspireum Football Awards. The Inspireum Football Awards celebrate outstanding young athletes - not because of their statistical performance, but because of their ability to inspire and motivate teammates, classmates and communities. Anderson is a survivor of the massive EF5 tornado that ripped through the city of Joplin on May 22, 2011. The tornado struck while he was huddled in a hallway of the family’s home – they had no basement – and it essentially ripped the family apart. Both of his parents as well as the family’s two dogs were lost in the aftermath. Quinton woke up in the hospital three days later, and a nurse texted his father’s phone to let the family know he was alive. Luckily, his sister, Grace, had recovered the phone from the debris and she was able to learn of his condition. Anderson spent five and a half weeks in the hospital recovering from a fractured skull, a shattered spine, a shattered orbital bone, and a skin graft, which helped heal a muscle on the front of his left shin that was torn from his leg.
Before the tornado, Anderson was a backup wide receiver for the Joplin High School Eagles football team. Though he wasn’t cleared to play football this past fall, he was voted as a senior captain of the team. He served as an inspirational leader on the sidelines, and he led the Eagles out onto the field before each game. “We weren’t going to let the fact that he can’t play ruin his senior season altogether. I told him ‘You’re just as much a part of the football program as any other kid.’ He’s just not going to be able to play on the field,” said Coach Chris Shields of Quinton.
He has faced much adversity this past year: a truck donated to him was destroyed in an accident with a drunk driver while on the way home from the high school’s homecoming dance. Though Quinton and his date were left unharmed, the accident left Quinton, who lives approximately 30 minutes from school now, and his working sister, with only a single car between the two of them. Throughout everything, he has as positive an attitude as possible. “I didn’t really want 15 minutes of fame, but I knew my story could help people move on in their lives, and it can give them courage and a sign of hope,” said Quinton of his story. “I used to just take each day like it was given to me, but now it’s not. It’s something that’s a gift, and then you’ve got to pray for the next one. Because you don’t know if you’re going to be here or not.”
The Winner of the 2011 Inspireum Football Awards is Addison Marshall, a resident of Houston, Texas, and a cancer survivor. Addison was nominated for the Awards because others look to him for courage and strength in the face of their own adversity. Three others were named Runners-up for the Awards. They are Kaleb Mackey of Afton, Oklahoma, a two-way starter who has Cerebral Palsy, Shane Halpin of Gulf Breeze, Florida, the starting center and captain of his offensive line at 5’6”, 175 pounds, and Rashawn King of Raleigh, North Carolina, who played football this past fall after beating Leukemia.
A Fan Favorite scholarship was also awarded to Ryan Anderson of Kent, Ohio. Anderson was selected as Fan Favorite by an online fan vote. Anderson was a top recruit from the state of Ohio until it was discovered that he had bone cancer, and he was forced to sit out his senior football season. Despite this, he was voted as Captain of his team, and he attended every practice and game his chemotherapy schedule would allow.
A $7,500 scholarship will be awarded to the Winner. $2,500 will go to each of the four Runners-up, $1,500 to the Fan Favorite, and $1,000 to each of the six remaining Finalists from the top 12. You can learn more about the Inspireum winners at InspireumFootballAwards.com.
The winner and runners-up were chosen by an esteemed Selection Committee, which includes former NFL greats Troy Aikman, Drew Bledsoe and Shaun Alexander. The fan favorite was determined by online voting. A total of $25,000 in academic scholarships, provided by the Trusted Sports Foundation, will be awarded to those players who bring the most heart to the game, as opposed to the highest stats.
About Inspireum and the Inspireum Football Awards
Inspireum utilizes the power of social media, technology and community-based marketing to share inspirational youth achievement in sports and community service. We discover, amplify, and celebrate young people who inspire their schools, teammates, friends, family, and community. The Inspireum Football Awards celebrate inspirational young athletes who embody the values of character, courage, contribution and commitment through the sport of football. Recognizing and rewarding these outstanding players inspires other youth to pursue sports as a positive, action-oriented path to self-discipline, leadership, strong academic performance and a healthy lifestyle.
Images and video are available online at www.InspireumFootballAwards.com.
About Trusted Sports Foundation
Trusted Sports Foundation is a nonprofit organization focused on inspiring kids to thrive in life through sports. Our goal is to empower underserved youth to live up to their full potential through positive sports experiences that form active, healthy habits for a lifetime. Through our national inspirational youth sports awards programs, we reward character, courage, contribution and commitment with academic scholarships for athletes who inspire their teams, schools, and communities. Through our KIDS In The GAME program, we provide financial resources to help youth from low-income families, youth that are physically or mentally challenged, and kids that are at-risk gain access to sports programs. Learn more at www.TrustedSportsFoundation.org.