Here is a great story about one of our Smithville, Texas boys.
This is from the American Statesman, from Feb 4th, 2010. Smithville High athlete with cystic fibrosis signs scholarship!
“SMITHVILLE— Back in the summer of 2004, the Nieto family of Pflugerville shared their story with this newspaper, and it was a story of hope and salvation through the primal act of running.”
“Brice Nieto, who was 12 years old and struggling to manage cystic fibrosis, was about to compete in the 38th National Junior Olympic Games.”
“His parents, Laura and Jimmy, started Brice in running when he was a younger boy with too much mucus in his lungs. Their story included the strong belief that Brice would be better prepared to manage the genetic disease if he were in top physical shape.”
“Brice discovered that he actually loved running. He ran varsity track as a freshman in high school, and when his family moved 45 miles east of Austin to a 10-acre plot of land with fishing tanks and a couple of horses, he made the varsity track team at Smithville High School.”
“He ran in the Texas Relays.
He earned his letter jacket at Smithville High.
The story gets even better.
On Wednesday, Brice sent his letter of intent to Oklahoma City University, where he will join the track team in the fall.”
“Brice earned an athletic and academic scholarship at the private school of 2,100 undergraduate students. Brice and his mother toured the campus on his official visit. It felt like home, they said.”
“The coaches told Laura Nieto they expected Brice to grow. As an athlete. As a person.”
“I liked to hear that,” she said.
“Life changes for all college students when they leave home. For Brice, the change will be drastic.”
“He soon will be individually responsible for taking his medicines, wearing the vibrating chest that loosens his lungs and going to the hospital, if he needs to, when he needs to. Because he has to.”
“I think I’m ready for it,” Brice said.
“His parents worry. They also see reasons for optimism and opportunity.”
“Brice said he believes his running helps him stay one long stride ahead of the cystic fibrosis, which has no cure.”
“Jimmy and Laura Nieto take comfort in that fact. They know their son will do what he has to.”
“I need to,” Brice said.
“Brice is a year-round runner. After school, he runs three 400-meter sprints and three 500-meter sprints. On weekends, he stretches and performs lunges and high-knee kicks that keep his body moving the way he wants it to.”
“If people told him what he couldn’t do,” said Smithville athletic director Justin Wiley, “he wouldn’t be here today.”
“When Brice was diagnosed at the age of 9, his parents reasoned that scaling the bleachers and running around the track at Connally High School would make Brice stronger.”
“I’m really glad they did it,” Brice Nieto said. “Now that I look back on it, I’m really glad. It made me who I am.”
“His story begins with running.”
“For us it’s working,” Jimmy Nieto said. “So we’re not going to stop.”
“It continues with running.”
“He has a willingness to do whatever’s necessary,” said Oklahoma City University track coach Micheal L. Houston , who noted that Brice has “the heart of an athlete.”
“And he has the mind of a student. Brice took a chemistry class as a junior at Smithville. He enjoyed it. Chemistry made sense to him, he said.”
P.S. All of us in town are proud of Brice. I invite you to visit our small town. Smithville Texas is 43 miles from Austin. Come see many beautiful historic homes and old buildings. There are lots of antique shops on Main Street and super small restaurents in town. But lately, the town is getting known for being “Texas Film Friendly!” We have had 2 major motion pictures filmed here in Smithville, “Hope Floats” and “The Tree of Life.” There have been a number of smaller films, also. Check out the Chamber Web Site for a listing of productions. Our Bed and Breakfast is just off of Main Street. Come stay with us and explore Smithville. Sallie Blalock, Innkeeper – Katy House Bed and Breakfast www.KatyHouse.com