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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
Simone Says: Stay Strong


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Scores & Schedules

October 26, 2014 07:21 GMT

Latest results and upcoming games

WORLD SERIES

Saturday - Game 4

San Francisco 11, Kansas City 4

(Series tied 2-2)

Sunday - Game 5

(Shields 14-8) at San Francisco (Bumgarner 18-10), 8:07 p.m.

TOP 25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Saturday's Games

( 1) Mississippi State 45 Kentucky 31

(24) L-S-U 10, ( 3) Mississippi 7

( 4) Alabama 34, Tennessee 20

( 5) Auburn 42, South Carolina 35

( 8) Michigan State 35, Michigan 11

(10) T-C-U 82, Texas Tech 27

(11) Kansas State 23, Texas 0

(13) Ohio State 31, Penn State 24, 2OT

(14) Arizona State 24, Washington 10

(15) Arizona 59, Washington State 37

(16) Nebraska 42, Rutgers 24

(19) Utah 21, (20) Southern California 17

(21) Clemson 16, Syracuse 6

(22) West Virginia 34, Oklahoma State 10

(23) Marshall 35, Florida Atlantic 16

(25) U-C-L-A 40, Colorado 37, 2OT

NHL

Saturday's Games

Buffalo 2, San Jose 1

Boston 4, Toronto 1

Montreal 3, N.Y. Rangers 1

New Jersey 3, Ottawa 2, OT

N.Y. Islanders 7, Dallas 5

Philadelphia 4, Detroit 2

St. Louis 3, Chicago 2

Pittsburgh 3, Nashville 0

Minnesota 7, Tampa Bay 2

Arizona 2, Florida 1, OT

Washington 3, Calgary 1

Sunday's Games

Colorado at Winnipeg, 3 p.m.

Columbus at Los Angeles, 4 p.m.

Ottawa at Chicago, 7 p.m.

San Jose at Anaheim, 8 p.m.

Washington at Vancouver, 9:30 p.m.

MLS

Friday's Games

Chicago 2, Houston 1

Saturday's Games

Seattle FC 2, Los Angeles 0

Montreal 1, D.C. United 1, tie

New England 1, Toronto FC 0

Portland 2, FC Dallas 0

Vancouver 1, Colorado 0

Sunday's Games

Philadelphia at Columbus, 4 p.m.

San Jose at Chivas USA, 4:30 p.m.

New York at Sporting Kansas City, 8:30 p.m.

NFL

Saturday

No games scheduled

Sunday's Games

Detroit vs. Atlanta at London, 9:30 a.m.

St. Louis at Kansas City, 1 p.m.

Houston at Tennessee, 1 p.m.

Minnesota at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.

Seattle at Carolina, 1 p.m.

Baltimore at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.

Miami at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.

Chicago at New England, 1 p.m.

Buffalo at N.Y. Jets, 1 p.m.

Philadelphia at Arizona, 4:05 p.m.

Oakland at Cleveland, 4:25 p.m.

Indianapolis at Pittsburgh, 4:25 p.m.

Green Bay at New Orleans, 8:30 p.m.

Open: N.Y. Giants, San Francisco

Monday's Game

Washington at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

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