Athlete to Watch: Dakota Ridge's Steve Barber

December 17 2009, 12:10 PM
Among the most inspirational movies, 1993's "Rudy"---the story of an undersized, underprivileged kid who achieves his dream of playing football for Notre Dame---elicits emotion from even the most hardened souls. Now, Colorado's own Steve Barber, a Dakota Ridge High School football player, has a chance to win an award named in honor of the movie's protagonist, the Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger Award. Barber, who is deaf, plays several positions for the Dakota Ridge Eagles. According to Fox 31, Barber beat out nearly 400 students from 48 states to become a semi-finalist for the award. He says his dreams of playing for a Division One college football team, like the University of Colorado Buffaloes or the Colorado State Rams, won't be impacted by his lack of hearing, and he holds a realistic goal of making it all the way to the NFL. Barber's coach calls him the most inspirational player on the team. Voting is open to the public through Trusted Sports. A win counts as more than just a feel-good award: The winner receives a $10,000 academic scholarship and serves as a role model who encourages other students to stay in sports after age 13.