By Frank Cusumano
NewsChannel 5 Sports
(KSDK) - To most, kicking a soccer ball is no big deal; to Michael Roach. it's a whole new life.
"I was two millimeters away from being paralyzed," said Roach.
It was October 27, 2005, on Bates Road in O'Fallon, Mo., where arguably the best soccer player in town lost control of his car on a rainy night. He was only 200 feet from his home. Roach ended up in a ditch.
"The neighbors came out and I was bleeding from my eye. I couldn't move my upper body," said Roach.
The Chaminade High School senior had broken the second vertebra in his neck. Roach spent three months and 24 hours a day in a 20 pound halo.
He had two options: put a screw in his spine which would end his career or pray the bones would fuse back together. They did.
Roach has six goals in 12 games for number one-ranked Chaminade. He also has a full scholarship to soccer powerhouse Indiana University.
And although he's just a kid, it's safe to say, Roach has some perspective.
"Every day I wake up and pray prayers of thanks."