Extra Credit: Coach's Chair

By Kym Clark - bio | email

COLLIERVILLE, TN (WMC-TV) - When a crippling accident crushed the dreams of a 15 year old soccer player, he thought soccer was gone from his life forever. Now, years later, Ken Mears is once again on the field, coaching and loving life and inspiring his players.

The history teacher tries not to let his wheelchair slow him down while coaching the Collierville High School Girl's soccer team, but sometimes it can't be helped. As Mears recalls,"It actually broke down during the game, during the state finals. Actually had the coach from the team we were playing came over and pushed me across the field."

Mears says his nine year old chair is four years overdue for a trade-in, but those chairs are expensive. Enter senior soccer players Alexis Pugh and Amanda Smith, who decided to try to raise $10,000 in order to buy their coach a new wheelchair.

The girls say Mears deserves this kind of effort and more because he's been an inspiration to them, the entire soccer team, the school and everyone around him. So, they're selling t-shirts, having pancake breakfasts and running 5k's to raise money, much to the surprise of their coach.

"It was a shock at first, but to be surprised that they would do something like this for someone - no, because this is the type of people that they are. All the girls on the team are just wonderful young ladies, and they're gonna grow up to be great women."

Any money raised over the initial goal for Coach Mears will be used to establish Mears on Wheels, a non-profit organization that will raise funds annually to purchase or refurbish wheelchairs and other medical equipment for local children.

The 5-K is scheduled for 2 pm April 25th at W. C. Johnson Park in Collierville.

You can make donation at the Patriot Bank on Old Byhalia Road in Collierville.

For more information or to order a t-shirt go to: mearsonwheels@gmail.com.

And, if you have an idea for an Extra Credit report, please send an email to: extracredit@wmctv.com.

Copyright 2010 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.