Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wabash Seniors Reach Peak

Wabash football players traditionally plan a bonding experience for themselves right before they start their final season. This year 17 Little Giant seniors climbed Pikes Peak in a record time of 8 hours, 31 minutes.

The Crawfordsville Journal Review reports that the group also went skydiving and whitewater rafting on their three-day excursion.

For me the best part of the story is how the athletes banded together to help one of their own make it to the top. Mark Ellis has back problems, which might have prevented him from joining his teammates at the peak, but this group had a goal and nothing was going to stop them ALL from reaching it:
Ellis began having troubles because of a herniated disc in his lower back, so the group devised a plan to help him along. Knowing Ellis needed help, the seniors broke into foursomes and configured a 2-1-2 formation. There were two guys in front of Ellis and he was hanging on to their backpacks. There were then two guys behind helping push Ellis up the mountain.

“They sacrificed their energy to help get me up the mountain,” Ellis said. “That just shows me the type of senior class we have and no matter the obstacle, we are going to reach our goal.”
Howard and Linda Payne, of RV-Dreams Journal meet up with the Little Giants at the Peak, and gave two of the players a ride back down the mountain. They came away impressed with Wabash football.
So Wes and Richard from the Wabash College (northwest Indiana) football team came with us.

They had gotten up at 2:00 am to start their hike at 4:00 am, so they were pretty tired. But these nice young men were a joy to talk to.

Wabash College is one of the few remaining men's liberal arts colleges in the country and has an excellent academic and character-building reputation.

Seventeen seniors from the football team came to Colorado to sky-dive, climb Pike's Peak, and whitewater raft. Last year they went to Panama and worked in the fields of poor farmers.

They said their coach, Chris Creighton, wants them to experience things that make an impact on their lives. Football at Wabash is about a whole lot more than just football.

Mr. Creighton sounds like a guy we'd like to meet. :)
Read the full Journal Review story here

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