TENNERTON – Former Buckhannon-Upshur quarterback and 2005 B-UHS graduate Seth Poling will be honored at halftime during the Buckhannon-Upshur-Ripley football game this Friday night.
Poling, who suffers from ALS, will also give a pregame speech to the Buccaneer football team in the locker room prior to the contest.
Poling said in a Facebook post, “What an unbelievable honor, this will be a night I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
Seth was a standout quarterback for the Bucs from 2002-2004 and led the Bucs to a nine-win season, an upset win over University and a play-off appearance in 2004.
Seth was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig disease, in 2017, at the age of 31. His initial symptom began with a small twitch in his tricep in 2014. ALS is currently 100% fatal with a life expectancy of only two to five years.
Seth lives a unique life as he lives on a ventilator 24/7. He can’t walk, talk, move or breathe on his own. He relies on technology to live.
“His life is anything but ideal, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth living,” remarked Seth’s mother Mary Alice Poling. “Playing football helped Seth develop determination and grit, those traits have helped him face and meet the challenges of living with ALS. Seth has a saying, ‘he may have ALS but ALS doesn’t have him’. Once a leader always a leader.”
The Bucs will wear the No. 10 decal, Seth’s football number, on their helmets the rest of the season.
Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Zach Davis said about Poling speaking to his team Friday night, “ALS is brutal disease. I had a friend of mine I coached with that passed from ASL. I think it is really great that Seth will be able to speak to our team. I think that is something our guys need to hear. We think life is hard but we aren’t facing the challenges that Seth is. We want Seth to know that we love him and we are with him.”
Seth is married to Erika Helmick Poling and they have two boys, Liam Seth age 4 and Bayler Michael age 3. They live in Morgantown.