By BRETT MARSHALL
Satanta freshman football player Anthony Crump, who suffered a broken C3 vertebrae, damaged tendons and spinal cord, and a hematoma in the Sept. 6, 2013, season-opening game against Goodwell, Okla., has been nominated for the Kansas State High School Activities Association's Spirit of Sport Award.
Crump was injured on the first play of the first game of his high school career and had to be air-lifted from Satanta to Wesley Medical Center, where the prognosis was not an optimistic one.
Doctors in both Satanta and Wichita said he would possibly be walking in three to four years.
Instead, after being air-lifted to Chicago to a Shriner's Hospital where he was treated and underwent extensive physical therapy, Crump returned home on Nov. 1 where he was able to walk onto the same football field where he sustained the injury, and presented the game ball to officials.
"It is a true success story, and both a medical miracle and a religious miracle for Anthony," said Satanta athletic director Mark Calvin on Tuesday.
Calvin received notification of Crump's nomination for the prestigious award, but also said he wasn't aware of who nominated the freshman for the award.
"Don't have any idea, but it certainly is well-deserved," Calvin said. "His ongoing prognosis at first was very dim. But Anthony told the doctors he would be back in a month. It was 62 days from the time of the injury to when he returned and walked onto the field."
Calvin said Crump was now walking the halls at SHS, able to converse with friends, and attend classes like any other teenager.
"He's graduated from his therapy and there's no need for him to have a neck brace," Calvin said.
Calvin said much of the success the night of the injury was due in part to Crump's mother, Jeanette, and his grandmother, who are all nurses, and they helped the EMS crew in explaining what had occurred.
It was Calvin who text messaged one of his friends in Wichita who happened to be a Shriner, and it was several days later that arrangements had been made to fly him to Chicago where he underwent treatment.
Seven Kansas high schools submitted 12 nominations. Nominees will be considered for state level recognition by the KSHSAA, with the state honoree to be named later this month.
In 2011, Garden City High School junior Johnny Clayton was the KSHSAA recipient of the award.
"Kansas is the first state high school association in the nation to develop a state Spirit of Sport Award for the express purpose of recognizing outstanding acts of character and leadership, demonstrating the true spirit of sport in educational athletics," said Executive Director, Gary Musselman. "We believe it is important to focus attention on the many positive acts which occur in our programs every year. Without question, every Kansas high school has students and faculty who demonstrate the true spirit of amateur sport on a daily basis. Bringing recognition to those individuals for their quiet and selfless acts is in keeping with the mission of the KSHSAA."