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Hudsonville teen competing in track and field in wheelchair

shaun in chair.jpg.png
Posted at 8:52 PM, May 06, 2021

KENT COUNTY, Mich. — For Shaun Doss, the ability to compete is everything. The Hudsonville High School senior is known for overcoming obstacles and inspiring those around him.

Doss was paralyzed at the age of three, after being involved in a car crash caused by a distracted driver.

"I had a traumatic brain injury, so I don't really remember anything," Doss told FOX 17 News. "It was really bad."

Since adapting to using a wheelchair, Doss has proven he is just as capable as any other athlete.

After his family moved to Michigan, he took part in a sports camp at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital that was life changing.

He has since competed in sled hockey, basketball, and now track and field.

"It just shows that he has no quit and he's all drive," said his dad Robert Doss. "He doesn't see a wheelchair as a disability; he just thinks of it as a way to get him from Point A to Point B... He's played basketball, he's been a professional wheelchair skater, doing extreme skating with the mega jumps and the mega ramps. He's met some of the most famous people in the world. He just has that personality to win."

Now, Doss is paving the way for other wheelchair athletes to compete in track and field in Michigan.

"Fourteen states in the country have wheelchair events for track and field; Michigan just isn't there yet, but I'd love for that to happen; I'd love for that to be the outcome of him going out," said Steve Herr, the assistant coach of boys' track and field at Hudsonville. "He's earned his varsity letter on our team. He's proud of that, but he's done much more for us."

Herr said he contacted other coaches in the league and sought out permission from the OK conference for Doss to compete.

"Pretty much made a sport just for me to try," Doss said. "I've made tons of friends over the past few weeks; it's just an incredible experience."

Doss is heading to the University of Alabama in the fall on a full scholarship.

He's also a member of the Pacers, Mary Free Bed's men's basketball team.

His ultimate goal is to play basketball on the men's Paralympics team.

"I feel that he's an inspiration to a lot of these kids, his team and everywhere else he goes," said his dad. "He has a no-quit personality, and I wish more people were like him and can just push through any negativity or any bad situations in your life and see the good in it."

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