They didn't call him "Ace" for nothing. Asaph Schwapp was a stellar football player and even better young man who was emerging as a leader in Greater Hartford. His death Wednesday at age 26 from non-Hodgkins lymphoma is sad beyond words.
Mr. Schwapp was handed nothing. He was born to a determined and religious single mother who died, also of cancer, when he was 9. But he was raised so very well by his uncle and aunt, Clarke and Loretta King, and became a standout football player and National Honor Society student at Weaver High School.
He won a scholarship to the University of Notre Dame, where he played, mostly as a blocking fullback, and got his degree in finance. A knee injury while playing for the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League ended his chance to play in the National Football League, but didn't alter his positive and inspirational attitude. A Colonials official told The Courant's Paul Doyle than Mr. Schwapp never turned down an opportunity to promote the team or work in the community. He also had worked as a Merrill Lynch financial adviser since 2011.
As for former Notre Dame teammates, Kyle McCarthy's comments were typical: "A lot of people exaggerate when they talk about someone who has passed away, but I truly believe Ace is one of the best people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. Without a doubt, I'm a better person from knowing him."
His passing renews the common wish that the country would forgo more wars and focus on curing cancer.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times