Excellence in Youth | 2019

MAY 8, 2019 Florell faces demands with discipline Rodeo, FFA prepared Amherst senior to study livestock grazing systems, agribusiness at UNL Scoliosis can’t stop Sell FLORELL, PAGE 4 PERSONAL FILE Name : Sam Florell School : Amherst High School senior Parents : Clint and Melissa Florell Siblings : Brandt, 22, and Ava, 14 Future plans: Major in grazing livestock systems and agribusiness at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, then possibly attend law school or return to work on the family farm. Involvement : Football, wres- tling, track, high school rodeo, 4-H, FFA (Vice President of his chapter junior and senior years), FBLA and FCLA. Katrina Sell, courtesy KATRINA SELL trained her horse, Zoey, on her own. Last year, Sell showed Zoey in 4-H shows and the pair earned a purple ribbon in showmanship at their first show. SELL TRAINS her horse, Zoey, to go over a small cross rail for the first time. Sell has Klippel-Feil syndrome, a deformity of her spine, and riding horses is the one activity she was able to that didn’t require a doctor’s approval. By ASHLEY BEBENSEE Hub Staff Writer LOOMIS — Katrina Sell rides horses because it’s the one activity she can do that doesn’t require a doctor’s approval. At 4 years old the Loomis High School senior was diagnosed with scoliosis. She started gymnastics as a child, and when she would come home from practice, she would sit on the couch and cry. “I would start crying that my neck hurt and my back hurt or something. (My mom) noticed I had some knots in there. She took me to our local doctor,” said Sell. The local doctor referred Sell to a pediatrician in Omaha who diag- nosed her with congenital scoliosis. Last year, she was diagnosed with Klippel-Feil syndrome. “In my neck I have vertebrates fused on one side and then on my mid-shoulders, my mid-back they are fused on the opposite side. So I have a 42-degree curve going from right at the base of my neck and shoulders going to my mid-back and then I have a compensation curve going the opposite way into my spine,” Sell explained. Wearing a brace or having rods surgically put into the back is a common treatment for scoliosis, but Sell’s condition is a deformity of the spine so little can be done to repair it, she explained. When she reaches her 50s or 60s, her spine may begin to deteriorate and surgery will be SELL, PAGE 3 Horseriding, FFA give Loomis teen opportunities beyond disability AMHERST HIGH School senior Sam Florell practices for saddle bronc riding on a spur board at his family’s rural Kearney farm. Florell practices on the spur board at least once a day during high school rodeo season. FLORELL USES two horses in the high school rodeo circuit — Dashboard, known for stopping abruptly, and Chuck, right. By ERIKA PRITCHARD Hub Regional/Image Editor AMHERST — Responsibil- ity. Grit. Discipline. Humility. Extra curricular activities and hard work have helped Amherst High School senior Sam Florell develop these skills. Tending to his animals on the family farm and ranch, Pettett-Florell Land and Cattle, has taught him respon- sibility. While his dad, Clint, is devoted to servicing farm equipment in the winter and spring, Florell checks the cows and helps deliver calves. He also cares for the ranch’s six horses, two of which he uses for high school rodeos. Sometimes in the summer, Florell and his family work from morning to night to complete a project. He also helps with farm crops, corn, soybeans, alfalfa and prairie hay. Florell also has learned dis- cipline in his extra-curricular off-farm activities — football, wrestling, track, rodeo, FFA, 4-H, Future Business Lead- ers of America, and Family, Career and Community Lead- ers of America. Through 4-H, Florell and his sister, Ava, 14, work with their 4-H calves to get them ready for the county fair. Feeding the cattle is regi- mented. “You have to have a strict schedule on when you feed them, otherwise they don’t eat as much as desired,” Florell said, “because if you feed them too late in the morn- ing, it’ll get hot and they lose their appetite. “If you feed them too late in the night, they’ll still be full Lori Potter, Kearney Hub file FLORELL AND HIS HORSE run after a calf during the tie-down roping event at the 4-H Horse Show at the 2017 Buffalo County Fair. Once caught, above, the calf’s legs quickly were tied. Erika Pritchard, Kearney Hub Erika Pritchard, Kearney Hub Lori Potter, Kearney Hub file