Yearbook Feature Writing

1. Madeline Hutt, Scottsbluff

2. Darren Chew, Mount Michael Benedictine

3. Lindsay McCoy, Millard West

4. Kaylea Kult, Yutan

5. Brooklyn Sumovich, Waverly

6. Natasha Ybay, Bellevue West

Lindsay McCoy
Millard West #3
	Playing basketball, baseball, and football, sophomore Ryan Rouse overcame great odds 
as a freshman. He hit the gym every morning before school, was involved as a volunteer at the 
local YMCA as a youth coach, and was still able to maintain his 3.5 grade average. However, 
the largest struggle for Rouse was yet to come.
	“Nothing hits you harder than sitting in the doctor’s office and hearing you have a life 
threatening disease,” Rouse said. “I don’t know how I was supposed to react.”
	As summer came to an end and he was preparing for sophomore year, Rouse was diagnosed 
with a rare form of cancer. The doctors informed Rouse and his family that the cancer was 
attacking his immune system but was in its early stage, so the common survival rate was a 
high 60 percent.
	“Man, what do you say to your son when this happens?” Ryan’s mother Jennifer Rouse said. 
“There simply was nothing we wouldn’t do to beat this or to help him beat this.”
	Taking eight months away from football and basketball, Rouse underwent chemotherapy for 
six months and radiation for two. Though he couldn’t play for the team, football coach Jerry 
Yowell appointed Rouse the assistant coaching position to keep him involved during the season.
	“Being able to give Ryan a chance to stay involved with the team helped everyone,” Yowell 
said. “I’m sure it was hard for him to sit this one out, but his team members drew strength from 
him, and he drew strength from the team.”
	Rouse’s family believed his continued involvement on the team was what kept him going. 
Through treatment, Rouse was unable to participate not only in sports, but in school as well.
	“My parents hired a tutor to help me keep up with my core classes, so I didn’t fall too far 
behind,” Rouse said. “I also worked with Mrs. (Barb) Shaw, so I didn’t lose what I learned 
in Spanish.”
	Though the chemotherapy pulled him out of sports and school, slowed him down, and made 
it tough to keep active, Rouse had the support of his family and teammates. The football 
team sold t-shirts saying ‘Winning for Ryan,’ giving to proceeds to his family, in hopes 
that Rouse would be rejoining them in short time.
	“The worst was the few days he wasn’t there with us,” Coach Yowell said. “We always 
worried about where he was, if he was okay. Once we got word he was just having a down 
day, we had our moment of silence to offer him strength.”
	After missing the football and basketball seasons of his sophomore year, Rouse April 
tests showed the cancer was in the process of remission. He hoped to regain his strength 
in time for baseball season in May and football training in the summer.
	“I didn’t like standing on the sidelines and not being out there to help the team,” 
Rouse said. “But my chance is coming: I’ll be back. I know I’ll be back.”

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