The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

July 21, 2013

Cornwell has overcome his share of hardship in order to suit up for T-Wolves

NORMAN — Today, the Norman North quarterback is the picture of the All-American ideal. He’s entering his senior year as a leader on a football team that made a run to the state championship game just a few months ago. He’s well-liked by his teammates and coaches. He’s got both the tangible and intangible skills to succeed not just at North but at the next level, and he’ll receive that opportunity next year at defending BCS champion Alabama.

But things haven’t always looked so rosy for David Cornwell, who will lead the Timberwolves onto the field when they kick off their season on Sept. 4 against crosstown rivals Norman High.

Just a few weeks ago, Cornwell didn’t know if he would even play this season. A few months ago he didn’t know where he would finish his high school education.

And a few years ago, he didn’t know if his family would even be around to watch him.

———

Cornwell’s mother Debbie first became sick two years ago this month. A sudden and severe illness, she lost more than 20 pounds in a month while doctors scrambled to diagnose her condition.

For David, the illness took its toll. Already dealing with a family move from Nebraska to Florida, the burgeoning football star was put into a situation far more serious than any he had ever faced on the field.

“Everything flipped,” he said. “You’re just thinking about your family and trying to do anything you can to help her out.”

David made clear a few weeks later exactly how serious he was about doing “anything.” He put his promising gridiron dreams on hold to stay at home and take care of his mom, a decision he made without a second thought.

“Family comes first,” he said. “It was tough on me and my dad. How can I think about playing football when my mom is in trouble, when the woman who has taken care of me all my life is sick?”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Zac Selmon joins UNC as associate AD

    Zac Selmon, an associate director of athletic development with the Sooner Club since 2012, has been hired by North Carolina as an associate athletic director and special assistant to Tar Heel athletics director Bubba Cunningham....

    July 28, 2014

  • OSSAA releases enrollment figures

    The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association released the preliminary 2014-15 ADM for classification purposes Friday and not much has changed for many of the area schools. Moore (2,265), Norman North (2,180), Westmoore (2,090), ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Swim regionals 1 Norman North’s Justin Wu qualifies for U.S. national

    Justin Wu made history last week when he qualified for the U.S. national swim meet. A senior at Norman North, Wu already owned several state records when he outpaced a field of college swimmers in the event....

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woodard joins successful soccer team in Stillwater

    Haley Woodard has been one of the preeminent multi-sport stars in the state for several years. The Norman North senior is a state champion in track and soccer and has been an integral part of a basketball team that’s been to back-to-back ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Posturing, predictions fly as conference plans for new season

    There’s plenty to enjoy about the Southeastern Conference’s annual cattle call in Hoover, Ala., where media of every description join players and coaches from each of the league’s 14 football teams to discuss the coming season. The best ...

    July 18, 2014

  • Roberson2 66ers heading south

    The last five years, the Oklahoma City Thunder have had an unsung hero in their rise to the top of the NBA. Along with the talents of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the franchise has had the services of one of the best developmental ...

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NHS at Midwest City 6 Point guard taking on a new role in Tigers’ summer basketball league

    It’s a summer of change for Norman High basketball....

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU dominates in preseason, receiving 47 of 56 first-place votes in early poll

    Oklahoma will start the season as the overwhelming favorite to win the Big 12 Conference....

    July 18, 2014

  • Thunder V Denver Thunder add guard Morrow in deliberate, selective free agency

    Oklahoma City hasn’t been the busiest place during the NBA free agency period. However, it may have been among the pickiest. The Thunder officially signed free agent guard Anthony Morrow to a contract Wednesday. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound ...

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo