HIGH SCHOOL COMMUNITY MOURNS THE LOSS OF INSPIRATIONAL ALBUQUERQUE TEEN
*photo courtesy ESPN Radio/101.7 FM the Team
The Albuquerque community lost an inspirational individual on Tuesday. Former La Cueva High School student Austin Denton passed away at the age of 18 of complications resulting from a tumor.
“Austin was an inspiration to others in the way he persevered in spite of any obstacles and wouldn’t let anything get in the way of his dream,” said New Mexico Activities Director executive director Sally Marquez.
At two years old, Austin was diagnosed with a rare spinal cord tumor. He went through multiple rounds of chemotherapy, surgeries and rounds of radiation and was in remission for ten years. He described himself as a patient and advocate for St. Jude’s Hospital and a cancer survivor.
“I may be in a wheelchair, I may only be able to walk on crutches or a walker, but that doesn’t stop me from doing what I want to do,” Austin said in a video for St. Jude’s hospital. “I don’t let physical limitations cross my mind at any time.”
Despite facing numerous health issues throughout his life that prevented him from playing sports himself, Austin made significant contributions to athletics as a broadcaster and journalist. A sports enthusiast his whole life, Austin was particularly fond of the Denver Broncos, UFC and high school athletics. He served as a broadcaster for both ESPN Radio 101.7 The Team and Proview Networks. He started his broadcasting career by keeping offensive stats at high school football games and conducting the postgame interview with the coach. In the 2016-17 season, he added on to his broadcasting responsibilities by conducting the halftime show. He also served as a public address announcer for basketball and baseball games at his high school. His ultimate goal was to sit in a broadcast booth, something he was able to accomplish at a young age.
At the age of 14, Denton made an appearance at Super Bowl 50 in northern California and had the chance to interview Peyton Manning on live television. He was later invited to the NFL Today set on CBS in September of 2016 to introduce a segment in which he interviewed then head coach Gary Kubiak. In 2018, Austin was at the NFL Draft to introduce Denver’s first-round pick Bradley Chubb.
“It was a privilege to have Austin Denton as part of our ‘TEAM’”, said Joe O’Neill, President of ESPN Radio 101.7 the Team. “He was an integral part of our High School broadcasts. The passion and drive he exhibited embodies the spirit of sport and Austin Denton was a winner. Everyone at ESPN Radio 101.7 will miss his enthusiasm and friendship.”
Denton was very involved at La Cueva High School and will be missed by his former teachers and classmates.
“The experiences he had and the passion he displayed will forever serve as an example to all of us,” said La Cueva athletic director Lee Ann Moores. “As the man behind the curtain told the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, ‘A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.’ Austin was loved immensely by the La Cueva and Albuquerque communities.”
Denton served on the NMAA’s Student Leadership Advisory Council and in 2018 was named the Section VI recipient of the NFHS National High School Spirit of Sport Award winner. His positive attitude and approach to life will remain a lasting message for others.
“For me, every moment counts so you have to seize the moment,” said Denton.
Here is some video of Austin’s broadcast work in high school (video courtesy KOB)
Here is a link to a video of Austin from St. Jude’s Hospital