BELLAIRE, OHIO (WTRF)-
12- year old Larry Schmidli hasn’t had an easy life. At the age of 2 he lost his mother and at the age of 8 his father passed. Sending Larry off to live with his elderly grandparents. But eventually Larry was adopted by Bellaire’s athletic director Kevin Schmidli and his wife, Amanda.
“It’s great to have that support because my grandparents they cared but they were trying to be parents when they shouldn’t be. And they didn’t know how to take care of me so I just have somebody that’s on my side helping me.”
“From day one he’s just the kindest most considerate kid, well-mannered, always willing to help out.”
Kevin says he first spotted Larry when he was teaching at Bellaire. Larry needed to leave class early in order to be able to walk up the stairs to get to his next class on time.
“When I went into foster care, they tried to keep me in Bellaire for one reason because no one knew me in Shadyside or Martins Ferry. So that’s why I stayed here because kids knew my story and they supported me through it and it just helped me.”
Larry was dealing with some life-threatening health problems. Having lost his parents, he would eat his pain away, reaching 235 pounds.
“Amy Jean who’s an endocrinologist in Wheeling at 8.5 years old said he was in such bad health physically and she told the courts if the didn’t intervene on his behalf it was her medical opinion he wasn’t going to live to see his 10th birthday.”
But once he was adopted, Larry fit in perfectly with the Schmidli family. With the youngest brother, Larry found himself a best friend, and with the oldest brother, Larry found himself someone to look up to. Along with some close friends at Bellaire.
“It’s great because when I was with my grandparents no one knew me, I had like two friends.”
And within one year of living with his new family, Larry lost 90 pounds, joined the wrestling team, and improved his overall health.
“His personality, I mean he just bounces through this school and just watching the transformation not just physically but overall. Some oh his elementary teacher say he is a completely different kid.”
Larry has been able to find his niche, through announcing the Bellaire Middle School volleyball games, something he feels passionate about.
“I just like getting people excited. I don’t like being part of the sport but I like to get them excited. Make them feel it,”
“You feel the crowd get rammed up and when they hear their names it makes them excited, and feel it.”
And after overcoming so much in life, nothing seems out of reach for Larry.
“My end goal is to become a professional hockey announcer.”
For Bordas and Bordas Beyond the Field, I’m Caroline Peters.