Parry McCluer athlete wins special award for epitomizing courage, commitment after losing his dad

Landon lives by his dad’s words to get through: ‘Do everything you can, while you can.’

BUENA VISTA, Va. – We first brought you the story of Landon Catlett back in November, the Parry McCluer sophomore who’s touchdown was worth more than points on the scoreboard.

I recently caught up with the multi-sport athlete after receiving a special award.

“I really wasn’t expecting this I thought this was just going to be another school day and then practice coming up afterwards.”

But it proved to be much more. As Landon walked into a gym full of his teammates, friends and family he soon found out he was the recipient of our WSLS “1st and 10 Josh Leonard Character, Courage and Commitment” award.

Catlett has continued to epitomize the very meaning of the award, showing courage to return to the football field and basketball court after losing his father Eric in October. He was committed to finishing what he started with his teammates. He’s even been an inspiration to members of his family.

“It was hard to even get up out of bed and keep going but to know that he was so proud and honored to go back on the field for his dad... He has just kept going,” said Marcie Cart. She’s Landon’s aunt, sister of Eric.

Though surrounded by those that have shown care and concern, the family says some days are still hard to process.

Landon poses for a picture with his family after receiving the WSLS 1st and 10 Josh Leonard Character, Courage and Commitment award (WSLS)

“There’s definitely been times where he wasn’t sure he could step on the field or the basketball court,” said Cart.

But in times of doubt Landon draws inspiration with a quick glance at his dad’s class ring that he keeps close to his heart, wearing it on a chain around his neck.

“If there’s something going on at school, not doing too good or anything, I just look down and remember I have a piece of him with me,” said Landon.

All while remembering his dad, Eric’s words, ”Do everything you can, while you can.”.

Landon has also worn his dad’s jersey number as he stepped back on the court this season, helping guide the Fighting Blues on another deep playoff run.

About the Author

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.

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