After spinal injury to Norton, Luther College community bonds

first_img No. 17 Arkansas at No. 18 South Carolina Prediction: South Carolina 23, Arkansas 14 In a battle of conference foes, the Gamecocks will come out best in this fight. South Carolina’s road ahead will start at home against the Razorbacks. Published on November 3, 2010 at 12:00 pm Comments The play happened so fast, many of Chris Norton’s teammates missed it. It started when Norton, a freshman special teams player, took the field for a kickoff. He lined up while his team, Division III Luther College, was losing to Central College. The play ended with a call for an ambulance and Norton staying on the field. Jordan Grimm, a senior and the Norse’s linebacker and placekicker, didn’t even notice Norton was down at first. But then to Grimm, it quickly became clear that something felt wrong. It took a long time to get Norton off the field. After that, the team felt distracted, Grimm said. ‘It was kind of just really tough,’ Grimm said. ‘We were supposed to go out and play right after that. It kind of went downhill from there.’ Luther lost that Oct. 16 game to No. 15 Central, 45-26. The ambulance that carried Norton went to Decorah Medical Center in Decorah, Iowa. Doctors diagnosed him with a neck and spinal cord injury. Because of the injury’s severity, a helicopter took Norton to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he required a three-hour surgery. Since Norton’s injury, the team and local community around Luther have responded to his loss, as Norton began the road to recovery. Right after the game, head coach Mike Durnin addressed the team. He told them the news and told them they would have to keep going.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text ‘Keep your prayers and thoughts with Chris and his family,’ Durnin told the team. In the weeks that followed, a local Decorah church held a service for Norton. Another service took place in his hometown. Luther established a fund for parents to donate to his recovery fund. ‘This has definitely been a case of the greatest of human nature standing up and supporting each other,’ Durnin said this week. As the Luther community tried to rally, so did Norton, with the help of a few others. Durnin and his wife went to the Mayo Clinic, as did Luther President Richard Torgerson and his wife. When Norton’s family finally arrived, they spotted a man wearing Luther gear, who was neither Durnin nor Torgerson. Just a Luther alumnus who went to the Oct. 16 game, saw Norton’s injury and wanted to offer his family a place to stay. A neurosurgeon called the Norton family into a small, dim room and told them to expect a long surgery, probably eight to 10 hours, said Norton’s sister, Alex. ‘The other thing is, do not expect he will have any movement from the neck down,’ the surgeon told the family, Alex said. The surgery took just three hours. After that, Alex began a blog about him and his road to recovery. She linked a donation fund to the blog so readers could contribute after they read about Norton. ‘It was a way everyone could see the information,’ she said. ‘That day of the accident and the day after, we couldn’t keep up. We were getting phone calls, texts. It was overwhelming. We kind of set up the site so people could keep up.’ Soon after the site went live, Norton wiggled his shoulders. As the team moves forward, the squad continues to feel Norton’s spirit. The team receives updates on his condition often. Luther (4-4) will face two more opponents before the end of the season. And while keeping the game in perspective, Luther’s players want to win for Norton.   ‘We’ve got a renewed sense of passion for the game, passion for life, knowing that every play could be our last,’ Grimm said. ‘Every day could be our last, you never know what life is going to throw at you.’ Grimm admits he thinks about Norton’s accident often. He tries to put it out of his mind when he approaches a kickoff. ‘It’s scary, it’s definitely scary,’ Grimm said. He tells himself that the odds are too small. That Norton just suffered a strike of bad luck. ‘It’s given us inspiration to play for Chris and to give yourself to something bigger than yourself,’ Grimm said. As for Norton, he continues to defy the first prognosis. Sensation continues to return to his body. Hopefully he can make a recovery and return to campus as a student next semester, his sister said. Each day, Norton undergoes physical therapy. His father has taken over blogging duties. On Tuesday, while in a wheelchair, therapists attached Chris’ legs to a stationary bike. The bike is powered by electricity and the motion helps rebuild Norton’s leg muscles. His father wrote, ‘I know the look he had on his face, it was his game face. He was ready to go.’ Games of the Week Louisville at Syracuse Prediction: Syracuse 30, Louisville 24 Last time the Cardinals came to the Carrier Dome in 2008, Syracuse came out on top 28-21. With the Orange winning five of its last six games, this year should be much the same. Syracuse gets its seventh win of the season and becomes bowl-eligible. No. 4 TCU at No. 6 Utah Prediction: Utah 32, TCU 28 In the week’s best matchup, the unbeaten Horned Frogs will journey to Salt Lake City to take on the unbeaten Utes. Last season, the Frogs demolished Utah 55-28. But the Frogs have lost the last two games at Salt Lake City. Look for Utah to continue the trend this week. No. 13 Arizona at No. 10 Stanford Prediction: Stanford 20, Arizona 17 Look for offense to topple defense. Stanford brings in a great offensive package, led by quarterback Andrew Luck. The Wildcats boast a No. 10-ranked defense, but luck should hold out for Stanford. No. 5 Alabama at No. 12 LSU Prediction: Alabama 30, LSU 14 Alabama rules over this series, 45-23-5. Expect that again this week. Alabama brings quarterback Greg McElroy to try and beat the Tigers. Even at home, LSU will not last past the Tide.center_img adbrow03@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Valeria Salazar guides Syracuse to 6-1 win against Cornell in return from respite

first_imgValeria Salazar stepped up a couple of feet on the court. She dug her feet in, ready for her opponent’s return. The ball came and, as it seemed to be headed toward her partner, Anna Shkudun, Salazar stuck out her racket and deflected the ball to the other side of the court.Salazar yelled “point!” and instantly ran to hug her teammate at the service line. As they walked to the net to shake the opposing team’s hands, they were still holding onto each other with grins on their face.“The last match wasn’t very good and we didn’t play very well the first doubles match either,” Salazar said, “so we were happy that we finally played better.”Despite being down 40-15 in the final game, Salazar and Shkudun were able to string together a comeback. Combined with strong serves and being vocal with one another on the court, the duo was able to give Syracuse (3-0) its first point of the meet. The Orange never looked back, beating Cornell (2-1), 6-1, at Drumlins Country Club on Sunday. Shkudun and Salazar have now played three matches together this season, losing just once.“I think (Valeria and Anna) are one of the best teams in the country. They’re very talented,” head coach Younes Limam said. “They both feed off of each other.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhile she did appear in the doubles match against Liberty yesterday, Salazar sat out during the singles match to rest and ice herself. The day off did not leave her rusty, proving so in her performance on the court on Sunday.“If anything (the day off) helped. I got surgery during the summer. It’s kind of a chronic injury, I can’t do anything about it,” Salazar said. “We were just trying to save myself so I can last throughout the whole season.”After Salazar and Shkudun’s doubles win to put Syracuse ahead of Cornell by a point, Salazar focused on her singles match. In the first set, the game was back-and-forth.The lead fluctuated often and, at times, Salazar made little mistakes to let her opponent creep back in. Other times, the ball landed just out of bounds, and when Cornell’s Dena Tanenbaum raised her finger, Salazar questioned her and became flustered. Whenever a similar situation happened, associate head coach Shelley George was right there to calm down and refocus the junior.“After every point’s over with, you basically say let it go, let’s start over,” George said. “You have to basically start it up each time. It’s just reminding (Valeria). She’s got good habits on the court.”All the fans shifted their attention to the singles match between Salazar and Tanenbaum. The players who had finished, or did not play, crowded around and cheered on each point. The phrases “Go Red!” and “Go Orange” were screamed over and over. Ahead 6-5 on the tiebreak, Salazar hit a return that Tanenbaum failed to hit over the net. Salazar smiled, as Tanenbaum dropped her head down in anger.Salazar finished the game strong and walked away with another singles win to add to this season’s undefeated singles record. The junior has become one of the more reliable options for Limam and Syracuse, as she is penciled in at No. 1 for doubles and No. 2 for singles.“[Valeria] was awesome today. Valeria is a gamer,” George said. “Whatever the situation is, she’s going to give her best effort. Good things come from a fighter like that on the court.” Comments Published on January 31, 2016 at 4:54 pm Contact Charlie: csdistur@syr.edu | @charliedisturco Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more