Defiance College signs local boy battling cancer to track, cross country rosters

DEFIANCE, Ohio (WTVG) - Ten-year-old Trey Wittenmyer of Defiance is a boy of few words, but when it comes to sports it's a different story.

"I can only play basketball, baseball, golf, archery," said Wittenmyer. "So you'll do them all?," asked 13abc reporter Michael Bratton. "Yeah," said Wittenmyer.

The Tinora fourth grader has battled Leukemia since 2015 and is now in remission.

Monday he was signed as a top recruit to Defiance College's track and cross country teams.

"It's really exciting," said Trey's stepfather Jacob Leonard. "It's a great opportunity for him. I mean, he gets to meet new people. [As parents we're] both really excited for him."

Trey's addition to the squads comes from a partnership with Team Impact, a Boston-based non-profit that connects kids facing serious illness with college teams.

As an official Yellow Jacket, Wittenmyer gets the full treatment with official photos, athletic gear and time on the team for two years.

"His energy is contagious and so you can really see it feed with the kids and I know they get a blast hanging out with him too," said head track and cross country coach Ken Ciolek.

While he may be on the the track and cross country rosters, Trey's first love is basketball and his teammates don't mind joining him on the court.

"Trey's an awesome kid," said Ciolek. "[He's] already came and shot hoops with us, ran the kids ragged."

It's through the camaraderie of sports that the Yellow Jackets hope helps Trey on his path to a full recovery.

"If he just needs someone to talk to and just shoot hoops a little bit, he has a plethora of friends now, and teammates, that he can come rely on for support," said Ciolek.