The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Mike Motz
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Lovitt Tackles His Biggest Challenge


November 20, 2019

Kordell Lovitt

Creek Valley's Storm Football team had a historic 2019 season, going undefeated in the regular season then winning two playoff games before finally falling in the semi-final round in the state tournament. The Storm players are a tight-knit group, one that plays, practices, and experiences triumphs and setbacks together as a team. A group that tirelessly worked to improve and kept a positive attitude over the course of years saw their efforts finally rewarded. And when standout junior Tucker Graeff was injured during the playoff push, the team showed no panic, and had confidence that 15 year old sophomore Kordell Lovitt would be up to the challenge of filling in on defense.

Creek Valley Head Coach Joe Kupper said of Lovitt's performance in the Storm's victory against Wilcox-Hildreth in the first round of the playoffs, "Kordell did a great job filling in for Tucker Graeff. He did a really good job of getting after Falcon quarterback Gavin Sheen and was able to get a couple of sacks, a fumble recovery, and several QB hurries. He definitely made an impact."

It's not surprising that the young player stepped up to the challenge, as Lovitt has battled an even tougher opponent than any D-6 team the Storm faces for nearly his entire life--Type 1 Diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes prevents bodies from producing insulin, requiring those afflicted to monitor blood sugar and administer insulin as needed. It requires diligent tracking on a constant basis. But the sophomore has learned to live with the condition, and has developed a resilience and positive attitude that drives him to succeed.

Lovitt's mother Jodi Harms said that Kordell was diagnosed with the disease when he was about seven years old. Lovitt has been living with the disease for almost as long as he can remember, and the monitoring of blood sugar has become part of his daily routine.

Harms said, "Kordell is on an insulin pump,and is usually on a CGM machine that "talks" to the pump and tells him when he needs to check his pump and calibrate the CGM machine, usually three or four times a day."

She continued, "Otherwise, he can go on like most other children as long as he monitors what he eats to maintain his levels".

Lovitt has diligently treated his condition, which has become a routine for him.

"I don't think my condition limits me as much as other people who have it", said Lovitt.

"The diabetes also brings other issues like mental health into the picture, as high and low blood sugar will affect Kordell, not just physically. So we all have to watch and monitor how he's feeling and thinking constantly", said Harms.

The Storm's coaching staff knows of Kordell's condition, and have been trained to deal with any issues or episodes that might occur during practice or a game. Medically, doctors have cleared Lovitt to play any sport, as long as his condition is monitored and he has access to treatment if necessary, and the exercise is good for Kordell's overall health. Dealing with a life threatening condition often has the benefit of putting the everyday challenges of life into perspective. Lovitt doesn't let his condition stop him from what he wants to do, participating in football as well as basketball and track. He fully understands the value of making the most of his opportunities and pushing the limits of his abilities, qualities that will serve him well for the rest of his life.

In the game against Harvard, in the second quarter Lovitt twisted his ankle badly trying to sack the quarterback, and was on the field for a few minutes in obvious pain. He needed to be helped off the field, unable to put any pressure on the injured ankle. The trainers worked on the ankle, while Lovitt battled against the pain.

To no one's surprise, Lovitt was back on the field in the second half, playing out the final game of the season with everything he had. He wouldn't let a life-changing disease stop him from doing what he loves, so there was no way an ankle injury was going to keep him out of the biggest game in Creek Valley history.

Lovitt showed that regardless of what the scoreboard says, a positive attitude will always make you a winner, both in sports and in life. Lovitt and the Storm will be back next season, and will build on their success this season to go even further as a team in the future.


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