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Local Sports

Former football standout raising funds for NHS athletics

Norvell beats cancer, playing in Central alumni game

No way was David Norvell going to let cancer beat him. Norvell reached back to lessons learned growing up in Newton and playing football for Newton Senior High School and Central College in Pella.

“I’ve survived two Stage IV cancers in the past four years. There’s two ways you can go through that, I chose to be as positive as I could,” Norvell said. “With faith in God and the support of family and friends, I came through it all.”

Norvell, who was a four-year letterman playing for Central College, said he was invited to play in this year’s Central Alumni football game Aug. 31.

“I have been given a new lease on life from both cancers. I decided to take the opportunity Central is giving me to give back to the community and school I love. I’m going to play in the game and show people that cancer cannot beat you. I want to do something positive with this new lease I have.”

Norvell established Third Time Player, a fund to raise money supporting his endeavor of playing in the Central alumni game. All funds donated to Third Time Player will be given to Newton Senior High School athletics.

Papa Wolfie’s BBQ is holding a fundraiser for Third Time Player Friday. Papa Wolfie’s BBQ will donate all profits from the day’s sales to NHS athletics in honor of Norvell’s Third Time Player. Papa Wolfie’s BBQ will be at First Ave East, east of McDonald’s and next to Crazy Redhead Quilting in Newton, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday.

Norvell and his wife, Marcia, live in Largo, Fla., “but I love my hometown. This is about promoting health and life and motivating people to fight cancer. It is also about helping Newton athletics. The funds will go into the school’s general athletic fund to help with anything the NHS athletes need.”

Norvell was the Cardinals’ senior nose guard on the 1977 Iowa Class 4A State Runner-Up football team. After graduating from NHS in 1978, he went on to play four years as nose guard and defensive tackle for the Central Dutch football team.

Norvell’s mother, Anna May Norvell, still lives in Newton. Also living in Newton is his brother, Chris, and his family.

“I’m 53 years old, but I’ve been training seven days a week for the past 5 1/2 weeks and will continue to work out until game day,” Norvell said. “I named this Third Time Player because I’m getting a third chance to play a sport I love.”

Norvell is sharing his journey of training for the game on a Facebook page, Third-Time-Player.

Norvell contacted Newton Senior High School and set the fundraiser up. He said he will be wearing shoulder pads from NHS along with a NHS Cardinal helmet in the full-contact Central alumni game.

Norvell has created a U.S. Bank account for donations. He said people can visit the Newton branch inside the Newton Hy-Vee and donate. People can donate through PayPal. Norvell has this link to the Third Time Player account,

“People can also mail me donations for the Cardinal athletic fund. If they want to call me for more information, I’ll be glad to visit with them,” Norvell told the Daily News. “My goal is to raise $500 to $700, but whatever we raise is enough t0just support my hometown high school athletic programs.”

Norvell’s address is: Third Time Player, 364 Fourth St. NW, Largo, FL 33770. He can be reached at (727) 643-5024.

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