NORWOOD – Norwood sophomore Ty LaFramboise is one of three Colorado high school football players among 50 national semifinalists for the High School Football Rudy Awards, and your online vote is now needed to ensure he advances to the final four, where $25,000 in college scholarships will be given out.
The announcement comes just after the Norwood Mavericks eight-man football team made another impressive run in the playoffs toward a state championship.
Former NFL quarterback and Chairman of the High School Football Awards selection committee Drew Bledsoe announced on Nov. 30 that LaFramboise was one of 50 semifinalists for the award that honors players who bring the most heart to the game of football. More than 12,000 high school football coaches were contacted and invited to nominate the ‘Rudy’ on their team. The winner will receive a $10,000 academic scholarship to a college of their choice. Two runners-up will each receive $5,000, in addition to a fan favorite determined by online voting.
LaFramboise, who had surgery two years ago to improve blood flow to the cartilage in both knees, was nominated by Athletic Director Mike Hughes. LaFramboise spent an entire summer in a wheelchair because of his condition and could not walk without help when the wheelchair was no longer needed after the surgery.
“Ty has suffered some brutal setbacks,” Hughes stated in his nomination. “Debilitating degenerative knee problems that led to months confined to a wheel chair, accompanied by ankle and shoulder problems. Not once did I ever hear Ty complain, nor did I ever see him quit working. The real-life hero of the Ty LaFramboise story will never tell you the hardships he has had to overcome or the perseverance he has had to display to achieve his successes; he simply does everything and more to keep achieving and leading. He is almost too good to be true.”
According to his father and head football coach Tom LaFramboise, Ty could remain satisfied with his accomplishments on the football field, but he also helps out with others. He helps coach Norwood’s peewee football program at least three nights a week.
“Ty has the ability to make these little guys work hard, have fun, and respect each other,” Tom said. “Ty has his own practice, a peewee practice and his extra workouts as he is continuing to build his knees.
“Ty has worked so hard to come back from this injury, he is still one of the slowest players in a 40, but he is the best defensive player in our league. The rest of the team has bought into his hard work and the results have propelled the team to another level.” On top of all this LaFramboise maintains a 4.0 GPA and is a school leader.
Founded by Trusted Sports and Daniel ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger in 2009, this national award is named for college football’s most famous underdog. Ruettiger’s dream of playing football at the University of Notre Dame inspired millions as portrayed in the movie Rudy. Likewise, the 50 semifinalists are being honored for their courage and character, and inspirational impact on their teammates and schools.
“I read the stories of our top 50 High School Football Rudy Award nominees and then I look back at some of the toughest games I played,” Bledsoe said in his semifinalists announcement. “Even when I was injured, I didn’t have to deal with anything like what these kids have to handle on a daily basis. Playing in the NFL was an honor, and incredibly rewarding. It’s also an honor to place the spotlight on these young athletes who are facing inconceivable challenges, yet who soldier on despite the hand they’ve been dealt. Words can’t begin to describe how much respect I have for them all.”
The 2010 Selection Committee includes notable sporting personalities such as Leigh Anne Tuohy, mother of Baltimore Ravens player Michael Oher and inspirational figure of the film The Blind Side; Shaun Alexander, former Seattle Seahawks running back and NFL MVP; and NBC Football Sideline Reporter, Andrea Kremer.
The 50 semifinalists’ stories can be read online at www.highschoolrudyawards.com. where voting continues through Dec. 28.
“When I think of all the young people that I have been able to work with in my fifteen years in education, there is no one that has leapt out to me for their extraordinarily gifted leadership and character skills like Ty has,” Hughes said. “When I think of overcoming obstacles, ascertaining your highest potential and showing by example how work ethic and dedication are the two most critical factors in becoming successful, no one embodies those traits like Ty.”