HERRIMAN — The Herriman boys lacrosse team is set to play in the state title game Saturday, an accomplishment any sports team would like to claim.
However, there is more than just talent and long practices behind the team’s success this season. For the past year, the team and the Herriman community have rallied around Clint Allred, a senior on the team who has overcome leukemia so he could play in his final year of high school.
“At the end of the lacrosse season last year, (Clint) went to go get his wisdom teeth out and he got an infection in his tooth,” Bill Reading, program chairman of Herriman lacrosse, said. “His oral surgeon said that something wasn’t right so he went and got some tests and found out that he had leukemia.”
When Allred first heard the news of his diagnosis, he was worried. “I didn’t think I would be able to graduate at all or go back to school at all or play lacrosse. I thought my body would be too beat down after chemotherapy to do that.”
Ultimately, though, he said he knew he was going to beat cancer.
Upon his diagnosis, Allred immediately entered Primary Children’s Hospital and began chemotherapy. He spent the summer, fall and part of the winter undergoing treatments. While in the hospital, Allred only had one focus: to play lacrosse his senior season with no distractions.
“He would be hooked up to all these machines and he would be doing push-ups and sit-ups,” Reading said. “And while he was in the hospital he did all of his high school packets and got his graduation requirements done early … just so he could play lacrosse his senior year.”
During his time in the hospital, his team and community rallied around him. Teammates and coaches came and sat at the hospital with him, and stickers and shirts were made by the community in support of Allred.
“Our program was always kind of cliquey with groups of kids that have always just done their own thing, but this year they play as a team,” Reading said. “I think it owed a lot to all the community events that we had rallying around Clint and bringing these people together saying, ‘we are all in full support of you.’
"Clint has brought such a sense of love and unity to not just the players but the entire community,” he added.
Since going through his chemotherapy treatments, Allred has become a part of a different effort that benefits Primary Children’s Hospital.
“My mom works for Costco and they are raising money for Primary Children’s Hospital, so I have gone and made candy leis and I sell them at Costco," he said. "Any amount that is donated goes straight to Primary Children’s.”
The Herriman lacrosse team has also donated fleece blankets and coloring books to the kids staying at the hospital. Allred has even considered becoming a doctor so he can help other kids with cancer.
Allred has been a starting defenseman for the team the entire season. Herriman plays Northridge for the state title on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at Alta High School.
Lindsey Peterson is a Brigham Young University student studying broadcast journalism. Contact her at email@example.com or on Twitter @LindsPetey.