By: Isabel Smith ~Staff Writer~
Jacob Armstrong, a 7-yearold with Cystic fibrosis, joined Xavier’s track and field and cross country teams on Aug. 28. Armstrong signed an honorary National Letter of Intent on “Draft Day” at the Cintas Center.
The event was the result of a collaboration between Xavier and Team IMPACT, a national organization that works to improve the quality of life for kids facing chronic and life-threatening illnesses.
Children on Team IMPACT are drafted to local college teams and spend the year as honorary team members. Since its establishment in 2011, the organization has matched more than 900 kids with college teams and has impacted the lives of more than 25,000 student-athletes across 45 states.
The Xavier track and field and cross country teams were on hand to welcome Armstrong, a Florence, Ky., native at the event. Armstrong will attend practices with the program and take part in social activities throughout the year. The second grader has already enjoyed ice cream with his new Musketeer teammates.
Armstrong shared with Xavier Athletics that he loves to stay active, hates to sit still and is a fan of all sports. His favorite show is American Ninja Warrior, he loves to play board games and his favorite athlete is Lebron James.
Armstrong isn’t the first member of Team IMPACT to get drafted by a Xavier team. In 2013, Trey Couch became the youngest player to sign a National Letter of Intent for the Xavier men’s basketball program. Couch was a 12-year-old diagnosed with cerebellar degeneration, a disease that weakens one’s coordination and has no known cure. As an honorary member of the team, he got a jersey, his own locker and the opportunity to sit courtside at practices.