Antioch, Illinois – We came to Antioch Community High School near Chicago to meet the record holder – the undisputed champion.
Ninety-nine-year-old superfan Steve Young hasn’t lost a single Antioch football game since 1946—not even the summer he got in a traffic accident in a thunderstorm.
“I had 11 broken bones, a hole in my left lung, and when I lay on the stretcher, I was struck by lightning. I was thrown from the stretcher,” he said. “They rushed me to the hospital and a doctor says, ‘He’s not going to make it.’ And I said, ‘You guys don’t know what you’re talking about. I have a game to go!'”
And of course, a few weeks later he was the opener of the season.
But it’s not just football. Young has also been in almost every basketball game, softball game and volleyball match. He goes to tennis matches, golf matches and even bowling tournaments. He is ubiquitous in more than 20 sports, plays and concerts.
We spoke to three generations of students and alumni. He said Young was in his home and away games “no problem.”
“Everyone, he’s always there,” said one.
“For some athletes, it’s probably the only person they have in the sport,” said another.
Young says it’s true because the kids have told him so.
“I’ve had kids come over and say, ‘My parents never show anything,'” he said. “It kind of hits home.”
And that’s a big reason why he does it.
As a thank you for his 76 years of love and support, the school recently included the Young Grand Marshal in a homecoming parade and honored him in a game where the enthusiasm he showed for others finally resonated back. .
The brilliant message was that sometimes the most important thing you can do for a child is just to be there, no matter what.
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