MOORESVILLE, Ind. – It was October 9, the third to last Friday of the high school football season, and Mooresville was struggling.
They had lost four of their last five games. But on October 9 at Martinsville, they finally saw success, and they had inspiration from afar to thank for it.
“Coach Dockery had let us know that Nick wasn’t going to be able to make it; we were out there to do it for Nick because he would have done it for us. He’s always there for us – he’s definitely one of us,” said Mooresville football player Andrew Sanders.
Sanders is talking about Nick Crenshaw. Crenshaw is a 16-year-old Mooresville High School student, and he has cerebral palsy. On October 9, he was unable to make it to the game because he was recovering from eye surgery.
But surgery is nothing new for Crenshaw; it’s a necessity in his never-ending battle with the disease.
“I don’t like to let anyone tell me I can’t do something because I’m disabled,” said Crenshaw.
And that includes becoming a member of his high school football team.
“After two years, Nick was at every weight session, every practice, and every function we had. I could tell as a manager he always had something missing. I said to him, ‘You want to dress? If you want to do it, let’s do it.’ He jumped on board and continued to grow from there,” said Coach Chad Dockery.
So Crenshaw dressed at every Pioneers home game this season in full uniform head to toe.
“I’m just treated as an equal member of the team. I treat them well, they treat me well. We’re a family, as Coach Dockery always says, and we treat each other like family,” said Crenshaw.
His football family thought so highly of him that they voted him captain for a game.
“Being able to be out there with the captains – i just loved every moment of it,” said Crenshaw.
“What he does every day, most kids wouldn’t do what he does. He pushes through. He’s got more heart than anybody you’ll ever meet,” said Sanders.
“Nick inspires us all,” said Dockery.
And Crenshaw even inspires the Colts.
They brought him on the field before a late-October win over the Saints.
“It was definitely one of the best experiences that I’ve ever had in my life – if not the best experience! It was beyond anything I could ever imagine,” said Crenshaw.
The dictionary defines the word “adversity” as a difficult situation or condition. Crenshaw is all too familiar with adversity, but he says it will never stop him from doing what he loves – including being around the game of football.
“Adversity comes and goes. You just have to learn to fight through it,” said Crenshaw.