Running back fends off would-be robbers hours after completing all-star game

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

There are one of two lessons to the following story: Don’t mess with Kansas running backs or don’t mess with Brett Sterbach. Either way, neerdowells in Kansas should take note.

As reported by the Kansas City Star, Sterbach achieved the rather unique accomplishment of winning the Kansas Shrine Bowl, an annual all-star high school football game, and then fending off two would-be muggers with physical force.

According to the Star, Sterbach’s family was refueling at a gas station when two men approached Sterbach in the car and asked for help. When the Shawnee Mission (Kan.) West High running back and recent graduate opened the door, the two men pulled a knife on him and demanded he hand over all his money.

Brett Sterbach won the Shrine Bowl, then topped two assailants — Sunflower Football League
Brett Sterbach won the Shrine Bowl, then topped two assailants — Sunflower Football League

When Sterbach didn’t have any money, the attackers demanded his cell phone. Instead of handing over the phone, the football star fought back, fending off an attempted swipe at his chest and instead inflicting an abdomen wound on an attacker after suffering a gash in his leg.

The second attacker continued to rush forward, apparently in an attempt to retrieve the knife, but Sterbach proceeded to stab him roughly five times around his collarbone.

From there, the defending state champion back hobbled in to the station’s convenience mart to find his parents, who had been purchasing him a drink and snack for the ride home from the game.

While no suspects in the attack have been identified yet, police have plenty of surveillance footage to view to track them down. More critically, Sterbach is expected to make a full recovery without any incident, a miraculous outcome given the odds against him.

"I'm just glad nothing worse happened," he said. "During this whole Shrine Bowl experience, I got to see so many kids who were born with no limbs and other problems.

"I'm glad I got out with nothing major. It's just a little stab wound, but it didn't hit any bone or any major arteries. I could have been killed, so I’m blessed that’s how it ended up."

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