Utah college football team comes to the rescue of a stranded hiker
Katie Karalis, KTVX
Published at | Updated at
ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 News) — The Dixie State University football team is recounting the moments they saved a young woman dangling from Sugarloaf Mountain near St. George, Utah last weekend, an incident players said “put everything in perspective during an unsettling time.”
“It was perfect timing for us to be there,” freshman cornerback Micah Gardner said. “We went up there for a team meeting to look over the city and show how we’re supposed to be a light and represent all of St. George.”
The Trailblazers say they were simply at the right place at the right time, gathering at the “Dixie Rock” during fall camp as they do every year.
It was around 7:00 p.m. Friday when a man asked them for help; the woman he was with had somehow got her hair tangled in her equipment while rappelling the rock, dangling on the side of the cliff.
“The gentleman she was with asked for some help and we jumped right to it. I think anybody would step up and do the same thing,” head football coach Paul Peterson said. “We had plenty of muscle to be able to get her up pretty quickly.”
Some players grabbed onto a rope to slowly pull her up while others positioned themselves at the bottom of the cliff in case she fell during the rescue. Peterson estimates the woman was in her 20’s and stuck for at least 45 minutes before the team pulled her to safety.
“We strive to be great men, on the football field but also in the community and in the classroom,” senior wide receiver Deven Osborne said. “Eventually someone would’ve helped her up, but I was glad we could be the ones to help and that God put us in that situation.”
“It made me feel humbled. I was really blessed to see her come up that rope,” freshman safety Kyle Floyd said. “You don’t know what might happen in even a second.”
The players said the woman was distressed and dehydrated, first asking for water when she reached the top of the rock. But soon, she was smiling and joking along with the coaches and the team.
“She was just like, ‘Uh, next time I’ll just tie my hair up,’” Gardner said. “I was like, ‘Next time?’ If that was me, I don’t know if I’m getting back on there!”
Although Gardner said his team is uncertain about the upcoming season, he said they learned there are still many ways they can help their St. George community.