Life has a way of throwing you curves. Sometimes they are good – sometimes not so good. One things for certain though, we can’t ever know ahead of time the twist and turns we may face on life’s highway.
On National Signing Day 2010, 5-star lineman Shon Coleman from Olive Branch, Mississippi had a good one come his way when he signed to play football for the Auburn Tigers. It was a happy and proud day for Shon and his family.
However, just a few weeks later, one of life’s bad curves was thrown at Shon when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblast leukemia. Suddenly football wasn’t so important anymore – simply surviving was.
To his credit, Auburn Head Coach Gene Chizik told Shon that he would still have a scholarship whether or not he was ever able to play football again.
Shon immediately started his cancer treatment and after a year he was well enough to enroll at Auburn. And today, two years after he got the dreaded news, Shon Coleman had a good curve come his way … he was able to dress out and take the field as an Auburn Tiger.
The NCAA rules for red shirt freshmen mandates shoulder pads and shorts at early spring practice. But that didn’t matter. After two long years Shon Coleman was finally part of the team.
One of his teammates, Defensive Tackle, Jeff Whitaker said Shon was excited and the team was excited for him.
“A lot of people were praying, a lot of people were rooting for Shon on and off the field. It feels good to see him back. He’s my brother. I love him.”
Coach Chizik had Shon stand up in front of the team and Whitaker said, “Coach Chiz didn’t even have to acknowledge it. Once he stood up the whole team gave him a standing ovation.”
Yes today, Shon Coleman had a well deserved good curve come his way. It was a happy and proud day for Shon and his family.
There is still a lot of work ahead for Shon to make it back to playing level but hey – that shouldn’t be so hard. After all he has already beat the “big C.”
Congratulations Shon. The Auburn family is happy and proud for you too!