Different kind of skier

By By Will Bardwell / staff writer
July 15, 2004
Nine years ago, Scott Therrell's life ended.
Or so he thought. The 19-year-old was paralyzed from the waist down after a car wreck. Therrell played football, baseball and basketball before graduating from Lamar School in 1995, but those days were gone. So were any hopes of walking again.
Water skiing wasn't even on the radar.
It is now.
Today, Therrell is one of the region's fastest rising standouts among handicapped water skiiers. Therrell typically competes in the slalom, as he did June 19 in the watersports event at the State Games of Mississippi.
Therrell himself didn't believe it for nearly four years. Not until 1999 did he try his hand at disabled skiing. Therrell had skied only recreationally before his accident, and the equipment used in disabled skiing was different from what he'd used before.
It didn't matter. Therrell was a natural.
And while the sport was different sitting down in a specially-designed ski, in many ways, it was just as he remembered.
Therrell picked it up like he'd never left off.
After his first taste of disabled skiing in Jackson in 1999, Therrell continued to attend clinics for handicapped watersports athletes. Finally, in 2002, he began to practice in earnest when he borrowed a ski.
Eventually, Therrell followed his friends' urgings to ski in regional tournaments.
And while Therrell continued to learn, the events filled a need that had gone unsatisfied for many years competition.
Therrell, who now lives in Chunky, said he is still about a year from competing on the national level. In the meantime, Therrell works at Structural Steel and is enrolled in the drafting and design technology at Meridian Community College, where he boasts a 4.0 grade point average.
Therrell also practices up to three times each week at Dream Lake.

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