Michael Springs is a senior on the Booneville football team. When Michael was nine, his father murdered his mother, turning his entire life into a tailspin. Michael could have easily let his past get the best of him, but he chose to rise up and be an example for others.
"I could have went down that road and been that dude that does drug deals, do drugs, but I knew I shouldn't go down that road,” said Michael Springs.
He almost did. For seven years Michael bounced around from foster home to foster home all across Arkansas.
“I wouldn't listen to anybody,” said Springs. “I got in trouble all of the time. They would just tell me not to behave like this and I would be like 'Whatever, I don't need you, you're not my parents. I don't need you. I don't need anyone.'”
It turned his life upside down, until fate stepped in. Michael ended back up in Booneville.
“The group of friends I have now is the closest friends I have ever had and that has made me stay here,” said Springs. “ Even though I have been through tough times and stuff this is the place I need to belong."
Two of those friends are quarterback Cody Harrel and running back Bryson May.
"He is one of the best guys I know," said junior running back Bryson May. "He does everything he can to help anyone out. He's done a really good job raising himself pretty much and I couldn't see him any other way."
"What's happened to him is hard for anybody to get through," said senior quarterback Cody Harrel. "He has done good. He has me and Bryson May. We're good buddies and we've done everything and been through everything together and I think it helps out a lot."
Now it’s his senior year. Booneville is undefeated and eying a state championship.
"When he was a sophomore and junior his maturity level wasn't what it needed to be for him to be successful," said head football coach Scott Hyatt. "I've been really proud of him this year. He's not only on the field but off the field he's grown up a lot and doing some good things."
"It's just like a growth thing that I have seen," said Biology and Anatomy teacher Rhonda Riggin. "Just a maturity, and then seeing what he can do in class now that he wasn't able to do in the tenth grade and knowing that he is going to be okay."
Everyone in Booneville knows Michael’s past, but not once has he wanted sympathy. In fact, he doesn't talk about it. He's sharing his story now for one reason.
“I did it to show that no matter what you go through in life you can always not let that be your destiny."