When you see a great story, you just have to tell it

When I saw the email from Cox sports editor John Boyle, I knew this was a story I head to make time for.

The story was about a high school football player who suffered traumatic brain injuries in a car wreck and spent 34 days in a coma. No one knew what kind of life John Samples had in front of him. But he recovered beyond expectations and kicked the extra points for his Mechanicsburg High football team Friday night at Southeastern.

A story with so much and so full of angles and great stories within the story, I knew I needed some space. And I was given that space today for a longer-than-usual story on the local news page in the Springfield News-Sun. Good call by the editors. It’s a sports story but transcends the sports section.

Journalism is about telling all kinds of stories. These are my favorite kind. Getting to speak with John, his family, friends and his coach was a privilege. They were so helpful that I felt like the story wrote itself.

I’ll be at Springfield High tonight covering the Wildcats. Wish I could see John kick. I hope somebody records his first point and puts it on the Facebook page dedicated to his recovery.

Best wishes, John. Keep on kicking and keep on defying the odds.

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