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Simone Says: Stay Strong

Updated: Thursday, October 24 2013, 11:56 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

January 31, 2015 08:09 GMT

Latest Scores; upcoming games

NBA

Friday's Games

Philadelphia 103, Minnesota 94

Atlanta 105, Portland 99

Houston 93, Boston 87

Toronto 127, Brooklyn 122, OT

Cleveland 101, Sacramento 90

New Orleans 108, L.A. Clippers 103

Dallas 93, Miami 72

Utah 110, Golden State 100

Phoenix 99, Chicago 93

Saturday's Games

Toronto at Washington, 7 p.m.

Dallas at Orlando, 7 p.m.

Sacramento at Indiana, 7 p.m.

Philadelphia at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.

Houston at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.

Oklahoma City at Memphis, 8 p.m.

Cleveland at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Portland at Milwaukee, 8:30 p.m.

Charlotte at Denver, 9 p.m.

L.A. Clippers at San Antonio, 9 p.m.

Phoenix at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.

TOP 25 MEN'S BASKETBALL

Friday's Game

( 6) Arizona 57, Oregon State 34

Saturday's Games

( 1) Kentucky vs. Alabama, 7 p.m.

( 2) Virginia vs. ( 4) Duke, 7 p.m.

( 3) Gonzaga vs. Memphis, 10 p.m.

( 5) Wisconsin at Iowa, Noon

( 7) Villanova at DePaul, 2 p.m.

( 8) Notre Dame at Pittsburgh, Noon

( 9) Kansas vs. Kansas State, 2 p.m.

(10) Louisville vs. (13) North Carolina, 7 p.m.

(12) Wichita State at (18) Northern Iowa, 4 p.m.

(14) VCU vs. Richmond, 2 p.m.

(15) Iowa State vs. TCU, 2 p.m.

(17) West Virginia vs. Texas Tech, Noon

(19) Texas at (20) Baylor, 6 p.m.

(21) Georgetown at Creighton, 2 p.m.

(22) Indiana vs. Rutgers, 3:15 p.m.

(24) Oklahoma at Oklahoma State, 8 p.m.

(25) Butler at Marquette, 2 p.m.

NHL

Friday's Games

St. Louis 3, Carolina 2, SO

Pittsburgh 2, New Jersey 1, OT

Colorado 3, Nashville 0

Vancouver 5, Buffalo 2

Chicago 4, Anaheim 1

Saturday's Games

Washington at Montreal, 1 p.m.

N.Y. Islanders at Detroit, 2 p.m.

Arizona at Ottawa, 3 p.m.

Dallas at Winnipeg, 7 p.m.

Toronto at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

Carolina at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m.

Florida at New Jersey, 7 p.m.

Los Angeles at Boston, 7 p.m.

Columbus at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

Edmonton at Calgary, 10 p.m.

Chicago at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.

TOP 25 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Friday's Games

( 9) Florida St. 82, Georgia Tech 62

(11) Arizona St. 68, Colorado 60

(19) Princeton 96, Harvard 46

Saturday's Games

( 7) Oregon State vs. Southern Cal, 5:30 p.m.

(12) Stanford vs. Washington State, 3:30 p.m.

(19) Princeton at Dartmouth, 6 p.m.

(25) Chattanooga vs. Mercer, 3 p.m.

NFL

Friday-Saturday

No games scheduled

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New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks at Glendale, Ariz., 6:30 p.m.

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KEYE-TV Sports Team


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