Disclaimer: This is sponsored content. All opinions and views are of Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group and does not reflect the same of KOAA.
Fountain Fort-Carson football player, Myles McClarity was sidelined last season, fighting his own battle with leukemia since December 2021.
The senior safety is now in remission and returned to the field this fall feeling better than ever.
“It felt amazing," McClarity said. "Being in full uniform is just different, there’s no other feeling like it and I’m just extremely grateful to be back on the field.”
FFC head football coach, Jake Novotny said it was exciting and emotional to see Myles back in action a year and half after his diagnosis. Novotny worked with CHSAA to grant McClarity an extra year of eligibility to make up for the year he missed.
"It was just important for us to provide him an opportunity," Novotny said. "That’s what we’re in the business for, is doing right by kids.”
As for McClarity, he was speechless when he found out his high school football career wasn't over.
"Coach Novotny pulled me out of class and he didn’t even have to say any words, he just pulled me in and hugged me and I knew what was going on," McClarity smiled. "I’m still speechless and forever grateful for CHSAA.”
The Fountain Fort-Carlson football team has been McClarity's support system since the beginning.
“When I got home from the hospital, I didn’t even get to step in the door and I already had teammates there," McClarity explained. "They’re really just my best friends, they’re my family and my biggest supporters, so I love them for that.”
McClarity has been through more than most kids his age, giving him a unique perspective.
“Jokingly they view him as the old man, but I think they also understand what he’s been through," Novotny said. "The first game I didn’t address the team in the locker room, I let him do it and it was pretty powerful, it was pretty impactful, and the kids were so fired up.”
McClarity has helped lead FFC to a 2-0 start and he has big goals for his final season, including winning state. But for now, he's taking it one step at a time.
“My goal was just playing a game and I’ve got that, so one goal down," McClarity smiled.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and we hope Myles McClarity's story serves as an inspiration for those battling this terrible disease.
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