Baldwin senior Smorey's unselfish response truly uplifting
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Luke Smorey truly is an inspirational student-athlete.
Smorey, a two-sport senior standout at Baldwin High School, recently was nominated for the USA Today/National Guard “Inspiration Contest.”
A panel of judges from USA Today narrowed submissions in various categories down to 100 athletes based on profiles. From there, contestants were split into seven regions across the country.
First-round voting ended March 31; semifinal-round voting ended earlier this week.
“It is an inspirational story, great kids that truly care about each other even if they are across the country from each other,” said Vince Sortino, Baldwin's athletic director.
In summer of 2012, Smorey became ill while on vacation and was hospitalized in Maryland. The diagnosis was Group A Strep, an aggressive flesh-eating bacteria (in his elbow area).
He was hospitalized for six days, lost 15 pounds and had permanent damage in his arm.
Smorey was on antibiotics for almost two months, but he exercised, regained the strength in his arm and eventually earned a starting berth on Baldwin's football team.
He then pushed himself in track, developing into a WPIAL Class AAA champion in the javelin event. He also earned All-America status at a national meet in North Carolina.
Last October, Smorey was highlighted as a “Positive Athlete” on “The Hines Ward Show.”
Smorey, the reigning WPIAL Class AAA boys' javelin champion who recently landed an athletic/academic scholarship to play football at California University of Pennsylvania, received enough votes in the USA Today/National Guard contest to advance to the semifinal round.
But that's where it stopped.
Once Smorey read the biography of another contestant, Dominique Cooks of Seattle, Wash., he made a plea.
Smorey asked school-district voters and the Pittsburgh communiy to vote for Cooks, a high school football/basketball player who is dying from a brain tumor.
Contest prizes include a feature article in the USA Today high school sports section, an in-school trophy presentation, a $1,000 donation to the winning athlete's school's athletic department, and an Inspiration T-shirt.
Superintendent Randal Lutz read Smorey's letter at last week's Baldwin-Whitehall School Board meeting and commended Smorey for his actions.
“I think it's really indicative of the types of students that first of all our community has, so hats off to his mother, hats off to his family and hats off to the teachers and the coaches that have helped to really mold that young man,” said Lutz, at last week's Baldwin-Whitehall School Board meeting.
“Many people are in it for themselves; he clearly is not. It's one of those things that comes across your desk and it makes you really proud to be the superintendent.”
Final-round voting runs through Tuesday. To vote, go to http://contest.usatodayhss.com/inspiration.
Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5820 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Former drug dealer, addict give away groceries as part of church’s outreach
- Scout’s kiosk to tell brave woman’s tale
- Project SEED expands
- Electricity rates expected to increase this winter
- More companies embrace exchanges to curb health care costs
- Pirates’ 5-game winning streak ends with 1-0 loss to Brewers
- Numbers down, but WPIAL teams boast top-notch golfers
- Trib high school rankings for Sunday, Sept. 21
- Gas industry remedies ‘brain drain’ in Western Pennsylvania
- Pentagon program seeks to retain U.S. technological edge against foreign rivals
- Islamic State link with well-heeled companies or individuals targeted