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CdM's Reinhardt shows he can't be stopped
It's hard to imagine Tim Reinhardt being frightened of anything.
The 6-foot-3, 235-pound defensive end from Corona del Mar is one of the most ferocious pass-rushers in the county. Offensive coordinators must live in fear of what Reinhardt is capable of doing to their offenses.
Reinhardt, who grew up as an active kid playing nearly every sport, had to face his fear after being diagnosed with type1 diabetes in the sixth grade.
"I kind of changed everything," said Reinhardt, whose team plays Garden Grove in the CIF-SS Southern Division final Saturday at 2 p.m. at Angel Stadium. "I came from playing multiple sports every year, and I stopped because I was a little frightened. I just had to get used to it.
"I met some other diabetics and that helped a lot and here I am."
With type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin, the hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy. Only five percent of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.
With the help of insulin therapy and other treatment, even young children with type 1 diabetes can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives. Reinhardt has an insulin pump attached to his body to manage his blood sugar level.
"I have to monitor everything, everything I eat, whenever I exercise," Reinhardt said.
"You just have to keep working it. It was really hard to manage at first. You just have to figure out trends and stuff. You just get used to it. It's just another thing now."
The way Reinhardt and his family handle the disease impresses Corona del Mar coach Scott Meyer.
"You would never know that he's diabetic by the way he works," Meyer said. "He never complains. He just goes out and works hard."
When Reinhardt was learning to live with type 1 diabetes, his parents decided to send him to a diabetes camp where he could meet kids just like him.
"When I first got diabetes, my parents knew I was a little shy about it," Reinhardt said. "I was a little insecure because I was in a tight spot. They just sent me up there. I didn't want to go. I was kind of homesick. But I eventually found a lot of people that wanted to help me when I was up there. It really meant something to me."
So much that he works as a counselor at the camp.
"I talk to a lot of diabetics and we all share our trade secrets and how things work," Reinhardt said. "We try to help the little kids. I just say, 'Hey you guys, it sounds a little frightening, but you have to be courageous and go out there. If you believe you can control it, you can control it.'"
Reinhardt was ready to get back into sports as a freshman at Corona del Mar. His brother Clayton, who plays at Humboldt State, played football at Corona del Mar, and his father Bill played football at Mater Dei. Reinhardt said he had never even tossed a football around before joining the Sea Kings team as a freshman.
"I was never a football guy," Reinhardt said. "My dad said, 'You should do it for one year,' and I said, 'All right, I'll do it for one year.' I ended up liking it a lot. I just stuck with it."
Colleges have taken note. San Diego State, Cal Poly SLO, Fresno State, Sacramento State, San Diego and Colorado are some of the colleges recruiting Reinhardt.
Reinhardt was one of the top defensive players on last year's team, which beat Beckman, 14-13, in the Southern Division championship game. This season, Reinhardt has been a veteran leader, getting younger players up to speed. The Sea Kings' 3-3 stack defense has recorded three consecutive shutouts in the playoffs to reach the final for the second year in a row.
"We started off a little inexperienced because we had some young guys on the defense," Reinhardt said. "We started clicking and clicking after we played some tough opponents. Now we're just trying to roll on through, and we keep getting better and better every day."