Tony Bartolomeo

Lake Central coach Tony Bartolomeo, pictured, said sophomore running back Max Creasbaum, "was gonna play and get some carries and he wasn't gonna be denied because he played like a dude."

MUNSTER — Lake Central sophomore running back Max Creasbaum wouldn't be denied in the Indians' 37-7 season-opening win over Munster.

The 5-foot-8, 175-pounder ran off tackle all night long, totaling 129 yards on 19 carries with two scores for Lake Central.

His scores came on two drives in the second quarter after the Indians trailed 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.

"He plays bigger, much bigger, than he looks and we're glad he's a Lake Central Indian," Lake Central coach Tony Bartolomeo proudly said. "I knew he was gonna play and get some carries and he wasn't gonna be denied because he played like a dude."

Creasbaum was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on Feb. 13, 2013, when he was 9 years old and has been playing with and managing the disease for the last six-plus years, five of which he has played football.

"There were many times where I wanted to quit, but my family wouldn't let me," Creasbaum said.

Creasbaum uses an insulin pump, a small computerized device that delivers insulin through a thin tube that goes under the skin.

"I don't play with it in because it may get damaged," he said.

Some of the toughest times he's experienced have been on the football field, especially when the weather is either really hot or really cold. Sometimes in the Region, it can be on both extremes in a week.

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"When it's really hot I have to make sure my sugar doesn't get too high," he said. "Plus when it's really cold, I have to make sure my sugar doesn't get too low."

Creasbaum credited his mom and dad for helping him persevere. His father also played at LC, and he is having post-concussion syndrome.

"His football team was the only team in program history to go to the state finals (in 1993)," Creasbaum said.

Creasbaum said his dad, who was a running back and linebacker, has taught him a lot about football and how to deal with tough situations, even if some are life-altering.

"His football experience helps me a lot because he shows me moves as a running back and tells me what linebackers might do on the defensive side," Creasbaum said. 

He admitted that there are a lot of tough nights for he, his father and the rest of the family and that he thought he was weird when first being diagnosed.

"There would be nights where my dad couldn't stand up or even walk because he was in so much pain, but he did and still goes to work every day as a construction superintendent," Max Creasbaum said. "As for me, I didn't feel like a normal person because I'd have to do many more things in order to go have fun or even eat."

Creasbaum's message is simple.

"I want people to know that whether or not you have a disease, nothing is impossible and people with this can still do amazing things."

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