Reaching Above and Beyond


  When facing obstacles in life people tend to not do anything about the situation. However, when it comes to sophomore Nathan Cummings, he has moved beyond his setbacks and learned many different ways to approach life. 

   When Cummings was born, doctors, along with his parents, were held back by his congenital disability. However, that has never stopped them from loving Cummings. He was told he would not be able to do independent things efficiently while growing up. He has overcome his setbacks and has moved beyond them. 

  Cummings has been helping out the basketball team since his eight grade year and the football team since freshman year, after being inspired by former Head Football Coach Rehagen. 

  Cummings is a manager for the NHS Football team. In this position, he helps distribute water to the players and does what he can to help those in need. 

   “Giving out water, helping when they need help and giving them knuckles is my favorite thing,” Cummings said. 

    NHS Head Football Coach John Perry, while this is his first year at Nixa, has grown to care for Cummings as “‘one of the boys.”

   “[Cummings] is awesome. He is a bright light every day you go out there because he is always smiling and happy. It is awesome to see him every day,” Perry said. 

   Cummings said he loves being on the football team, and the players love having him there. Senior Clayton Uber has enjoyed having cummings be there throughout his football journey.

   “We love [Cummings],” Uber said. “He is very helpful and it’s fun to see him throughout practice. He is always helping with water as well as always saying something to encourage us or to be funny, and it’s a good break. He seems as if really enjoys working with us.” 

   Cummings doesn’t let things hold him back. Madison Burns is one of Cummings’ teachers and said she is very proud of him. 

   “He has blown his parents away with how much he has been able to do and how far he has come. There were a lot of things put on him as a baby that he will not be able to do, but he has overcome all of it and we are really proud,” Burns said. 

   Cummings’ family has supported him and helped him achieve his goals. 

   “I think that it honestly drives him to come to school,” Burns said. “He is never tired and he does not complain about coming to school or staying late and I think if he was just at home, he would be bored and would not know what to do. I know his parents and his whole family have committed to football … . They love it as a family.”

   Although times can be rough, it never holds him back. 

   Sophomore Joshua Skaggs said he has always looked up to Cummings and has been inspired by his teachable and helpful attitude.

   “He inspires me by not letting anything get in his way. He tries to find ways to interact with other players and feel like he is a part of the team,” Skaggs said.

   As Cummings has grown throughout high school, he has not let anything in his life hold him back from doing what he loves most: helping others. 

      “I am inspired by his perseverance, his can-do attitude and his willingness to try to do any task he is given,” Skaggs said.