BEVERLY, Mass. – In a single day thirteen year old Ken Wallace saw his family grow in size significantly as the seventh grader from Ipswich became the newest member of the Endicott men's lacrosse program, signing his official letter of intent prior to being introduced to the Endicott community at the men's basketball game on Wednesday.
Ken and the Gulls men's lacrosse team were matched through the people at Team IMPACT, an organization dedicated to connecting courageous young children that are facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses with local college athletic teams to help improve their quality of life. Team IMPACT aims to help children gain strength, camaraderie, and support while the student-athletes are taught lessons of courage, resiliency, and life perspective that cannot be learned in a classroom.
In front of a crowd of 50 Gulls lacrosse players and coaches, Ken sat next to his father John and signed his letter of commitment to join Endicott on their journey this spring. Endicott's Director of Athletics Brian Wylie, head lacrosse coach Sean Quirk, and sophomore attackman Bobby Perez (Rocky River, Ohio) all spoke on behalf of the team about their excitement and enthusiasm towards having Ken on the sidelines for what should be a historic season for the Blue and Green.
Perez along with freshmen Joshua Heidrick (Littleton, Colo.), Cole McGarrigle (Norwell, Mass.), and Doug Richardson (Arlington, Mass.) were integral in building the relationship with Ken, his family, and the representatives from Team IMPACT. Not only did they learn about Ken's turbulent start to life, sustaining a stroke at birth which left him with physical limitations on the left side of his body and some learning disabilities and later developing a seizure disorder at the age of five, but they also found out about the incredible displays of positivity that he exhibits on a day-to-day basis. Ken is a sports fanatic, competitive in soccer, baseball, and lacrosse, a lover of swimming, skiing, hiking, and fishing, and a tremendous supporter of his older brother William, who plays for Ipswich High School. At home, Ken can be found playing with his six year old beagle Augie the Naughty Doggie, watching his favorite shows like Nick Toons and Tom & Jerry cartoons as well as his favorite movie "Blended".
As Ken, with the help of his loving family, continues to undergo medical changes and testing to make his seizures more manageable and improve his physical capabilities, his presence on the sidelines for the Endicott men's lacrosse team will be vital for their success. Endicott is the 13th-ranked team in the country by the USILA will play in their season opener in nine days at Stevens in Hoboken, N.J.