Los Alamitos long snapper Carson Fox ‘determined’ as comeback journey continues

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WESTMINSTER — As Carson Fox ran onto the field with the Los Alamitos football team, his father’s heart filled with emotion like never before.

Fox, an amputee playing with a prosthetic, took the field for his first varsity home game before family and friends, including his mentor as a long snapper.

“I could almost see the smile on his face,” J.D. Fox said of watching his son. “I started crying because he was running through.”

Fox indeed charged through several barriers to take the field Saturday at Westminster High against Basha, Ariz.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pond junior learned after breaking his ankle as a freshman that he had a rare and aggressive form of cancer known as Telangiectatic Osteosarcoma, which begins in cells that form bones. The growth of a tumor forced his left leg to be amputated above his left knee in May 2021.

But after rounds of chemotherapy and physical therapy, Fox returned to competition last spring with the aid of a special “blade” prosthetic. He ran sprints and threw the shot put for the Griffins’ track and field team, winning a state title in the shot put in the para‐ambulatory division.

This fall, Fox has been long snapping on PATs for the Griffins, who played their first two games on the road.

Fox wears his regular prosthetic, which is well-padded, in football compared to the running blade he uses in track.

“It’s awesome,” Fox said of returning to football. “Sometimes I’ll think about what I’ve done and it makes me just even more excited to be back and be out with my friends again. It’s just fun.”

Fox also was excited to play Saturday before his mother, Shannon, and cousin Ryan Kean, a former long snapper at Centennial Corona whom he considers his mentor. Kean now long snaps at FCS Utah Tech.

“I hold back my tears all the time,” Shannon said of watching her son. “He’s a stubborn, determined kid. That’s what has got him through all of it. … He does not let anything slow him down. Failure is not an option for him. Giving up is not an option.”

Fox also is embracing other parts of his journey.

He continues to train for track and field and has been invited to a U.S. Paralympics development camp in Chula Vista in October, J.D. said.

Fox has quickly developed into a promising thrower for the shot put and javelin in para sports and could pursue adaptive sports in college.

Fox said he also is motivated to play well for the Griffins’ seniors. Los Alamitos (1-2) takes on Servite (1-2) on Friday at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach at 7:30 p.m.

And while there are rules that protect long snappers, Fox also is ready for contact, just like a typical football player.

“Sometimes people lineup head up and I’ll hit them back,” he said with a laugh. “Come on, I’m not dodging.”

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