River Road senior Dominick Branum named GOAT Scholar Athlete of the Week

Branum holds an 87 GPA
Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 11:44 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - This week’s FirstBank Southwest GOAT Scholar Athlete of the Week has won more than a football game. Meet River Road’s Dominick Branum.

River Road All-District lineman Dominick Branum helps lead the Wildcats’ wing-T offense.

“He’s always quick and he’s always been good at pulling,” said Tate Upchurch, Wildcats senior center and defensive tackle. “It’s just nice to have a quick guy out there to make the holes.”

The senior holds an 87 GPA and works a weekend job. Branum’s hands-on skills have inspired him to work on diesel engines one day, but some things are just out of ones control.

“During practice I got hit real hard in my stomach and it started hurting, so I thought I tore a muscle,” said Branum. “Then I finally went to an oncologist. They told me that some type of glands were swollen, and so they took a biopsy and that’s when I figured out I had cancer.”

Branum was diagnosed with Germ Cell Tumor Cancer on August 27, 2020. Six months later after therapy, Branum was delivered good news.

“They called me and said that I finally had beat it and that it was dormant,” said Branum. “It was a great time, and I told my dad and everything. They all cried. I just sat there and I was like now I get to play.”

“He dropped almost 85 pounds through the chemo and everything. Coordination was an issue for him, so in the spring when they released him they started doing some running,” said Justin Cranfill, River Road strength and conditioning and offensive line coach. “We started working him back, and as he gained his weight back, and got those things back he’s finally got his legs back and he’s back to the old Dom.”

River Road was always there for support. The school district as well as the Texas High School Athletic Association Benevolence Fund helped raise money to pay for medical bills.

“Of if I didn’t have this family I would probably still be in the hospital because without them they gave me the courage to fight it and they gave me the courage to actually sit in the hospital and go through treatments,” said Branum.

“You know, so some of these things that we have the small things that are going on they realize you know what I can get through this,” said Bryan Welps, River Road football head coach. “He proved to them that we can about get through anything if we stay together and stay strong.”

Congratulations to Dominick Branum on being nominated as a FirstBank Southwest NewsChannel10 GOAT Scholar Athlete of the Week. To nominate a senior, go to https://www.newschannel10.com/sports/goat/.

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