Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Sports

July 28, 2013

Colts Preseason: Wayne arrives with inspiration from above

George Bremer

CNHI News Service

ANDERSON — Nearly eight months ago, doctors told Matt Sercer he would  never walk again.

On Saturday, the 20-year-old Plainfield farmer stepped off a helicopter on  the intramural fields at Anderson University and met the media alongside  Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne in one of the most memorable  training camp entrances of recent times.

\"Guys like Matt and stories like Matt, they're the real heroes," Wayne  said, wearing an IU Health flight suit in front of the lifeline chopper he  arrived in. "It inspires you to go out there and do great and prove people  wrong. A lot of people didn't think Matt would be able to walk again, and  he's out here moonwalking with me."

While cleaning out an empty silage wagon in December, Sercer accidentally  backed into an auger that tore off his right heel and nearly caused his leg to be amputated. He said he owes a great debt to the lifeline helicopter crew that carried him to help.

"I'd have been dead if it wasn't for them," Sercer said.

A friend brought Sercer's story to Wayne's attention, and tears pooled in Wayne's eyes Saturday as he recounted it.

As a Louisiana native who has spent much of his adult life in south Florida, Wayne said he's not familiar with farms. But he saw an important lesson for himself and his teammates in Sercer's perseverance.

Last year, the Colts used a national power ranking that placed them last among the NFL's 32 teams as motivation. This year, outside expectations for the team are higher. But, as Wayne said, "there's still not a lot of buzz" about Indianapolis.

"We got to prove people wrong, got to show them what we can do and show them what we made of," he said. "We got to bite down through hard times and find a way to prevail. Matt is truly an inspiration to that. I'm bringing him to camp with me to show everybody else what we can do."

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