Indiana St. player with birth defect makes PATBy CLIFF BRUNT, AP Sports Writer Saturday, Oct 30, 2010
INDIANAPOLIS (AP)—Brett Sheldon got in the game and on the score sheet.
The Indiana State kicker who was born with short arms and three fingers on each hand got his first action for the Sycamores on Saturday and made an extra point in Indiana State’s 41-30 win over South Dakota State in Terre Haute, Ind.
“It was awesome,” he said.
Sheldon has faced doubters since the beginning of his athletic career because of his birth defect, but he always has been confident. He started his college career at Franklin (Ind.) College and failed in a walk-on attempt at Purdue before settling in as a walk-on at Indiana State. The junior hadn’t made a kick in an organized game since his freshman year at Franklin, and he said the extended wait made the kick extra special.
“I haven’t stepped on a field in a game for a long time,” he said. “I’m glad it happened.”
Sheldon has been the No. 2 kicker behind Cory Little all season. His extra point in the second quarter on Saturday gave the Sycamores a 20-3 lead.
“It was right down the middle,” he said. “It could have been a little higher.”
Sheldon just wanted to play at some point. He says he always prepares as though he’s going to be called upon.
“It’s kind of hard to sit back and watch every day,” he said. “It’s nice to help your team. It was good to be able to contribute for once.”
He realized playing in college would be a real possibility after he made a 40-yard field goal as a varsity kicker for Fountain Central (Ind.) in ninth grade. He eventually became an all-state player with a career-long field goal of 48 yards.
Sheldon said Indiana State coach Trent Miles told him to be ready in the future.
“He told me I’ll get another one sometime,” Sheldon said. “We’ll see.”