BERLIN — A Berlin student and Pop Warner football player, seriously injured in a collision with a school bus back in October, was recognized last week with an honorary Atlantic Physical Therapy “Tough Guy” award usually reserved for the top players at Stephen Decatur High School.
Started 10 years ago by Atlantic Physical Therapy President Bob Hammond, the weekly APT “Tough Guy of the Week” award acknowledges the efforts of an individual player, or on some occasions a unit on the team, that do the little things to help the team win that don’t necessarily show up in the box score. Most of the accolades in football at any level are reserved for the glamour guys, the golden-armed quarterbacks and fleet-footed running backs who put points on the board and thrill the crowd, but the weekly “Tough Guy” award is handed out to the Decatur player who best exemplifies the spirit of Seahawk football.
Week in and week out during the season, the ATP “Tough Guy” award recognized those players, who are rewarded with a handsome trophy each week. At the end of the season, a “Tough Guy of the Year” award is presented to the player who best exemplified those qualities throughout the year.
With the local football season long in the books, Hammond last week announced he had one more “Tough Guy” award to hand out this year. It went to Berlin Intermediate School student and standout Berlin Pop Warner football player Cameron Smith, who exemplified the spirit of the award on the local football fields, but more importantly in his recovery from serious injuries after being hit by a Worcester County Public School bus back in October.
Shortly before 3 p.m. on Oct. 25, the 10-year-old Smith was riding his bicycle in the area of Flower Street in Berlin when he collided with a school bus. The school bus was not occupied at the time. The BIS student suffered significant injuries and was flown to Shock Trauma in Baltimore. The school bus driver was not at fault and the incident was an unfortunate accident and no charges were filed in the case.
Smith sent a considerable amount of time at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore for treatment of serious injuries to his right leg. He underwent medical procedures and physical therapy. He was presented with the “Tough Guy” award by Hammond last week.