Elizabethtown-Lewis goalkeeper Brock Marvin fires off a goal kick against AuSable Valley Sept. 1. The game was Marvin’s first since heart transplant surgery.
To have one person from the North Country make it to a national stage is a grand accomplishment.
In the world of high school soccer, however, two standouts have been announced as semifinalists for a national soccer award, and both are looking for the communities help.
AuSable Valley senior midfielder Megan Colby and Elizabethtown-Lewis senior goalie Brock Marvin are both semifinalists for the Inspireum Soccer Awards, which are awarded annually to soccer players who, according to the Inspireum website, “inspire teammates, classmates, families and communities.”
Both players were nominated for the awards, with Colby being nominated by her Plattsburgh Football Club coach Karen Waterbury, who is also the head coach of the Plattsburgh State women’s soccer team. Marvin’s nomination letter was written by his brother, Connor.
Colby, who played midfield for the Patriots in 2011, has been playing soccer even before she could walk, according to the nomination letter written by Waterbury.
At age two, Colby was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide), according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
“I was very surprised,” Colby said about the nomination. “I was pretty excited about it. There are a lot of people pulling for me and helping me.”
Colby said that her nomination was the idea of Waterbury and her Patriot teammate, Amanda Hamilton.
“I can’t even explain how I feel about Megan,” Hamilton said. “She’s incredible.”
Colby has to take therapy for her condition every morning and evening, and takes medications and treatments throughout the day. She also makes trips to Burlington each month for what have become, for her, routine treatments.
“I’ve learned to adjust to it,” Colby said. “I just have more things that take up my time than the average teen, but I don’t mind it.”
Colby said that because she stays on top of her disease, she is able to stay on top of her game both on the fields and in the classroom.
“Having the treatments is what has really set me up to do my best,” Colby said. “I would not be where I am without them. I know what levels of intensity I need to push myself. I talk with my doctors, and they basically go off my word.”
Colby said that playing sports - indoor track in the winter and softball in the spring - help her to stay in shape and stay ahead of the disease.
“It all depends on how you take care of yourself,” Colby. “They really push being active as a way to battle C.F.”
Colby stayed active on the soccer field in her senior season, helping to lead the Lady Patriots to the Section VII/Class B semifinals.
Colby said that she felt her story shows what people can do if they remain determined in the face of adversity.
“I hope that people get to know who I am and get a good vibe from my story,” Colby said. “I hope they see that I have worked hard to stay on top of this.”
Marvin, who played goalie for the Lions in 2011 and helped lead them to the Section VII/Class D semifinals, made his first start on the field since his eighth grade season, when a degenerative heart problem took him off the pitch and in search of a heart transplant.
Marvin received that transplant a year ago on Dec. 11, 2010, and started the road to recovery with one goal in mind - to make it back to the pitch with his teammates at Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School.
Marvin did just that, playing his first game against the boys soccer team at AuSable Valley, posting a shutout victory.
Marvin received media attention and accolades concerning his return to the realm of high school athletics, and is currently in the process of figuring out where to continue his education and soccer career in college.
Marvin’s nomination story was posted by his brother, Connor, who is currently at the Boston Children’s Hospital awaiting a heart transplant of his own.
Finalists for the Inspireum Soccer Awards will be announced on Dec. 13. The 12 finalist will compete for the grand prize along with three runners-up awards and two fan favorite awards, which will be announced Jan. 3.
The committee that will decide the winner from the 12 finalists includes U.S. Men’s soccer coach and former German National Team standout Jurgen Klinsmann, along with soccer announcer Andres Cantor, former national team coach Steve Sampson and 1994 U.S. Women’s National Team member April Heinrichs.
For more information on both candidates and to view the nomination stories and other posts about the two, visit the Inspireum website, www.inspireumsoccerawards.com, and click on the semifinalists link. The nominees are listed alphabetically.