Southern Owls lineman won’t let diabetes hold him back


Diane Lazarus – Special to the Southern News 

The moist, hot breeze stiffly grazed Wes Crowell’s uniform while he and his teammates jogged out to Jess Dow Field. The SCSU Owls football team season will started on Saturday against St. Anselm College. Crowell quickly ran to the field once one of the coaches shouted to hustle.

Crowell, lineman of the Southern Owls was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the young age of five. Crowell’s family tackled this disease full force and raised Crowell to balance life with diabetes from the start.

“The process was long ago because I was five but luckily I had an aunt that was a nurse.” said Crowell.

According to ADA (American Diabetes Association) about 208,000 Americans under the age of 20 are likely to have diabetes.

Crowell grew up adjusted to having diabetes by having his family’s support and a nutritionist to offer a diet that will sustain his diabetes. Crowell grew to love football and refused to let his disease determined his future in sports.  Once he entered high school, he joined the team and played other sports like basketball and soccer.

Individuals with diabetes are capable of playing a sport, it is just important that they are aware of their blood glucose level. Eating the right foods can control whether an individual blood sugar will decrease or increase. ADA lists snacks such as crackers with peanut butter, juice boxes, granola bars or hard candy will raise a diabetic blood pressure back to normal.

However, to lower a diabetic blood sugar exercise is not recommended for the safety of the individual. The ADA recommends that teammates and coaches know the signs of a diabetic whose sugar is high or low. Certainly Wes has educated his team and coach whom are familiar with the up and downs of diabetes.

“Wes is very knowledgeable about how to handle it,” said Lorenti, who has coached Crowell for a little over a year. “And he doesn’t use it as an excuse.”  

Although diabetes is a disease that changes one lifestyle, Wes does not use diabetes to cripple him or appear less than anyone else.

“I can do what you’re doing, I want to be just as good as or better than anyone on the field,” said Crowell. “Diabetes won’t be a factor”.

Crowell tries to lead by example for youth athletes or his teammates by maintaining active and healthy. For the past summers, Crowell volunteers at Camp Carefree in the state of New Hampshire. A camp to assist youth diagnosed with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, encourage youth that diabetes is manageable. Without question every practice, every sweat and every game Wes is showing young adults that a disease such as serious as diabetes can be subsided.

“By people seeing how I am taking care of myself, they can do the same thing, basically leading by an example.” said Crowell.  

Crowell explains that he balances each meal and makes sure he eats before every game. Also being conscious of what you eat is essential.

Wes career in football is steady. He is prepared for what the sport of football will throw at him by full force. Football is something he loves withstanding diabetes at such a young age.

“We all have deficiencies and we try to get through it, to do the things we love.” said Head Coach Tom Godek.

Photo Credit: Bradley Johnson 

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