- Cowboys Drop Preseason Game to 49ers
- Baylor Player Sentenced To 6 Months Of Jail For Sex Assault
- Texas State 'Well Equipped" for Florida State
- Cowboys, Rams End Practice Early After Fights Break Out
- Spieth Short at PGA, but Takes Over Number One
- Spieth Stalks 3rd Major of Year
- In a Class of Their Own
- Court sketches of Tom Brady cause social media flurry
- Feds detail why they want Lance Armstrong's medical records
- Longhorns Leadership: Does QB Demeanor Matter?
- Texas Trifecta: Breakout Players
- Omar Uresti Gets Another Major Shot
- Wimberley's Recovery With a Nice Ring
- The Fate of TCU's 2015 Season
- WWE Hall of Famer Roddy Piper dies at 61
- Tom Brady's suspension upheld by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
- 2015 Big 12 Wooly Bully
- Astros move up Taylor Swift concert for possible playoff run
- No Spieth Slam: Jordan Comes Up Short at Open
- Steve Patterson: Keep the Change?
- Longhorn Taylor Funk Wins 109th Southern Amateur
- Steve Patterson Under Pressure
- Mason Crosby "Kicks It" Back at Home
- Oh, Deere! Spieth Wins Another John Deere Classic
- That's a Rap: Texas Exes Dish on Daje
- Spieth Shoots Career Best 61 to Lead John Deere
- Winners Crowned at UA/Jordan Spieth Championship
- Jordan Spieth Wins U.S. Open
- Longhorns Lend a Hand in Wimberly
- Spieth Stands 18 Holes from U.S. Open Title
- UT Austin announces independent review of basketball academics
- Diamond Departures for Longhorns
- World Cup Company at UT
- Massive Surf Park Coming To Austin In 2016
- Texas Season Ends with 8-1 Loss to DBU
- Oregon State's Eckert Has Texas Ties
- Texas Wins Big 12 Baseball Title
- Texas to Play for Big 12 Baseball Title
- A Dom-inant Lacrosse Presence
- Shaka Smart 1 on 1: Part II
- Shaka Smart 1 on 1: Part 1
- Josh Hamilton Returns to Round Rock
- Pfast Pflugerville Pfamily
- NFL Finds Patriots Employees Probably Deflated Balls
- Cowboys Catch Free-Falling Gregory
- Malcom Brown Drafted by Patriots
- Texas Swept by TCU
- Isaiah Taylor to Return for Junior Season at Texas
- Austin in Play for MLS Expansion
- Express Host 5th Annual Bark in the Park
Simone Says: Stay Strong
Updated: Thursday, October 24 2013, 10:56 PM CDT
At the school that bears the name of Governor Ann Richards, a larger than life figure in Texas politics, we found the smallest of senior night celebrations. Simone Rath might not have any teammates by her side as she's recognized, but they're definitely behind her.
"Simone is a great role model," said junior middle blocker Alexys Garza. "She's always positive and [we] look up to her. [We] want to be like her."
As coach Maura Cosgrove built the Ann Richards program from scratch, there was one constant: Simone. While she's not the tallest or the most talented, Rath might just be the brightest of the Stars.
"She rarely makes a mistake," admitted Ann Richards head volleyball coach Maura Cosgrove. "She won't get the kill, she won't get the ace but she's the glue of the team."
Six years ago, Rath first personified the most obvious trait of glue. She stuck to volleyball after being cut from the team in seventh grade.
"It made me disappointed," Simone admitted. "But in a way it made me more motivated to learn the sport."
"That's the kind of kid she is," explained Kelly Rath, Simone's father. "When she puts her mind to something, she'll figure it out."
Simone showed enough improvement to make the eighth grade squad a year later. She would evolve into a two-time varsity captain. Many teens might have given-up after failing to make it the first time around. But Simone learned a lesson in perseverance long before volleyball tryouts.
"He's got a positive outlook on life and he's succeeding," said Simone. "So I just take that as a lesson."
"He" is Rath's brother, Lucien. The 11 year old is confined to a wheelchair as he suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy. There's no cure for SMA, but the strength Lucien has shown dealing with a disease that weakens him is the perfect remedy for Simone.
"If something gets you down, there's always going to be a way to get over it," Simone said. "I got over being cut in middle school. There's obviously a way to get over that with hard work. Lucien, he's gotten something he absolutely doesn't deserve."
"She says we can't really do much about it," Lucien explained. "All you have to do is stay strong."
"Simone's got such a big heart," Kelly said. "That is the underlying thing about her."
So maybe it was appropriate that the Ann Richards School didn't have any other seniors to honor on senior night: Because there just aren't any other players with a journey like Simone's.
"Simone helps me with courage and bravery," a grateful Lucien explains as he wipes back tears.
"Life isn't easy and it isn't given to you," said Coach Cosgrave. "Simone has worked hard for everything. She gets knocked down and gets right back up and keeps fighting."
by Adam Winkler