WTVM Editorial 10/31/23: Makai’s Inspiring Story

Published: Oct. 31, 2023 at 12:59 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A 16-year-old Opelika football player who recovered from injuries sustained in a mass shooting is teaching us an inspiring lesson in winning.

Makai Simpson was shot multiple times in his leg, lower back and hand while attending the shocking Dadeville, Alabama “Sweet Sixteen” party last April that killed four teenagers and injured 32 others.

Ever since that day, Makai refused to let his serious injuries define him. He decided to work harder than ever to return to the football field to play the game he loves.

This is the kind of young man who deserves news coverage, because his positive story of faith and hard work can inspire all of us to never lie down, never quit and always believe in yourself.

Makai told News Leader 9 reporter Justin Brown that his prayers played an important part in his recovery. So too did Makai’s willingness to do what he called quote “the little things” to make sure he rebuilt his body and his strength.

We think Makai’s accomplishments are a big thing.

By training hard all summer, he was able to return to the field where he scored a touchdown last week…a fitting way to celebrate all of his off the field wins, too.

Congratulations to Makai for his recovery and to his family, his coach and his fellow players for their support and encouragement.

They all played a part in helping Makai turn the page, going from shooting victim back to being a successful young man with his whole life ahead of him.