Inspirational Oklahoma Youth Named Runner-up for Inspireum Football Awards
January 14, 2012By Carlen Dixon of High School Inspireum Football Awards
Kaleb Mackey Suffers from Cerebral Palsy but Excels as a Two-way Starter and Excellent Student
Bend, OR -- Kaleb Mackey of Afton, Oklahoma 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. Kaleb Mackey overcame his first obstacles before he was even born. When Mackey was nine months old it was discovered that he had a stroke in utero. Although left with Cerebral Palsy and limited use of the left side of his body, Mackey's determination and heart have made him the exceptional athlete and student he is today.
Mackey's physical challenges delayed his development and he didn't learn to walk until he was two years old. When Mackey's younger sister learned to ride her bike, Kaleb responded to the challenge. Although he crashed and burned, he never gave up until seven-year old Kaleb was up riding his bike, bloodied and bruised, but grinning ear to ear.
That same stubborn streak came out when Mackey decided to play football. Kaleb would walk to the park down the street and jump into drills with his older brothers pee wee team. Kaleb's father, Bob, who was coaching the team, finally decided it was safer to get his youngest son in pads and let him play. This was a decision that Bob would never regret and Kaleb now plays as a two-way starter for Afton High School.
Upon graduation Kaleb has been invited to the trials and hopes to qualify for the 2012 Para-olympics this summer before entering Oklahoma State University to pursue an engineering degree. Mackey currently holds a 4.0 grade point average while taking college courses and working as a math tutor to help others.
The Winner of the 2011 Inspireum Football Awards is Addison Marshall, a resident of Fulshear, 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 Quinton Anderson of Joplin, Missouri, who lost his home and family to a terrible tornado but returned as a captain for his team, 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.
Contact: Kristin Hansen (541-508-0400 / Kristin@inspireum.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.TrustedSports.org.
Contact: Sandy Henderson (541-848-9509 / Sandy@trustedsports.org)