Prep golf: Stansbury golfer overcomes long odds to reach state tourney
Stansbury junior Marshall Lindsay forever will remember Sept. 12, 2009.
Marshall headed to the sand dunes at Little Sahara Recreation Area with a friend's family after a triple-overtime football victory. As the evening grew dark, the group decided to head back to camp on four-wheelers. Being unfamiliar with the territory and having fallen back a bit, Marshall spotted taillights about 100 yards ahead and sped up to catch up.
He didn't see the approaching sand dune.
Or the 40-foot drop.
"Coming off the jump, I looked down and realized there was no ground," Marshall said. "I blacked out and woke up in the sand with people standing around me."
His parents, Adam and Julie, received a phone call minutes later. They were told their son was injured, but not badly.
Moments later, they received another call telling them the accident was worse than originally thought and that Marshall was going to be life-flighted to Primary Children's Medical Center.
When the life-flight crew wheeled Marshall from the helicopter, he locked eyes for a moment with his mother, and he could see the fear in his her eyes.
"I'm going to be all right," he told her.
A distraught Julie Lindsay rushed to the bathroom, got sick, screamed then pulled herself together to be by her son's side.
While doctors said the couple's oldest son never would walk again, Marshall never gave up hope.
"He's a tough kid," Adam Lindsay said. "He's probably one of the mentally strongest people you'll ever meet."
That mentality was challenged during his recovery and ensuing physical therapy.
But Marshall took his very first steps for the second time in his life in February 2010.
"That moment was kind of crazy, as everyone from Neuroworx was cheering, but as a mom, you shouldn't have to watch your kids take their first steps twice," Julie said.
Marshall loved football and baseball, but he took up golf because it was the only outlet where his competitive fire could be unleashed.
When he qualified for this year's 3A state golf tournament with his Stansbury team, elation turned to disappointment when the Utah High School Activities Association initially said that based on the rules of golf, he could not use a cart to play.
Julie received that phone call on Monday afternoon; the tournament started the next day.
"Are you going to turn into Mama Bear?" Marshall asked.
"Did you qualify?" she asked.
Julie immediately went to work making phone calls and sending emails.
She provided the necessary paperwork to the UHSAA to document Marshall's need for a cart, the UHSAA reviewed the request and he was back in the tournament and allowed to use a cart by Tuesday afternoon.
He carded a 110 on the tournament's first day.
"From the moment he got injured, he's had this attitude that the accident was more than being just about him," Adam said.
"He wants to fight for others that have disabilities and open doors for them."
Marshall, 16, embraces the challenge of helping others.
"Before my accident, I had a huge stereotype about people with disabilities, he said. "I want people to have an understanding that people with disabilities aren't lesser than others.
"We just want an equal chance."
After an ATV accident in September 2009, Stansbury junior Marshall Lindsay made a video about the importance of wearing a helmet. He was wearing a helmet the day of his accident and said without it he would not be alive.
Lindsay received an outpouring of support from local communities after the accident. He also received a football from the Green Bay Packers and a letter from his favorite baseball team. "I always felt like my accident was bigger than myself, and if I used it right I could help a lot of other people," he said.
After qualifying for the 3A state golf tournament, the High School Activities Association initially ruled that Lindsay could not use a cart. His mother attributes the help of Stansbury High School and the Tooele superintendent for dropping everything and making sure Linsday would be able to participate.
Lindsay did compete, but his Stansbury team failed to make the second day of the tournament.