Akron's Nate Forrestel defying the odds on the golf course

Forrestel doesn't let spastic CP stop him
Posted at 11:42 PM, Sep 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-21 23:42:43-04

When Nate Forrestel hits the golf course, he's in his element.

"I take my putting the most serious," Nate said.

When you watch Nate putt, you can see the concentration on his face and the sport of golf has helped him in more ways than one.

"When Nathan stands over the ball, it's as if his CP disappears," his mom Deborah said.

Nate was diagnosed with spastic cerebral palsy at 11 months. He couldn't walk until he was three and used sign language for the first few years of his life.

He's unable to properly run so golf gives Nate the chance to be an athlete.

"He's competitive and it's right up his alley," Deborah said.

"He's always been a hard worker," added his golf coach, Bryan Bellis. "Extra putts, extra chips, playing extra holes, he just can't get enough golf."

Nate is on the Akron High sub-varsity golf team. He's a part of a group of guys that travel but never have their final score count.

But a phone call from his head coach on Monday night changed everything.

"He goes, you're in the top six and I'm like, I couldn't speak for about 30 minutes," Nate said.

Nate's score on Wednesday in thier match against Barker was going to count.

It was a surreal yet very emotional moment.

"He (Nathan) cried because he didn't want the team to lose because of him," Deborah said. "As a mom, that just hurts you to watch him be upset but he needs to know there's recognition."

Because Nate is first and foremost a team player. He's enthusiastic, he takes advice, and he's got a good game.

Nerves at first, it didn't take long for him to feel at ease.

"I should've made the putt up there,  two putted," Nate said following his first hole. "But I'm okay with that."

There were shots Nate wish he could've gotten back but at the end of the day, the score didn't matter.

"It''s my senior year," he said. "I can't get it back so I don't care about the score."

All Nate wanted to do was have fun and that's exactly what he did.

Nate wound up shooting a nine-hole score of 71 and helped Akron beat Barker overall as a team.