WAUKEE, Iowa - The high school football playoffs start on Friday and one Waukee player will be playing his final game, win or lose. Because Waukee runs on a quarter educational system, Senior kicker Ben Lang is graduating early and Friday's game vs. Centennial will be his last to play in.
Ben’s story goes well beyond football and school. Ben was actually born in Russia, lived there until the age of 12. When he was 9, the Russian government took him away from his mother because he was being neglected. Ben then spent 3 years in an orphanage before his day of adoption finally came.
In April of 2011 Ben made his way to the US to be part of the Lang family. Obvious struggles with language, social skills, and rules followed but Ben stayed busy participating in wrestling, and soccer along with football. Earlier this month he also became an Eagle Scout.
After high school Ben will enlist in the Marines, saying he wants to protect the country that he loves and gave him so much.
Coincidentally, Ben isn’t the only Waukee football player adopted from Russia. Senior Sam Markey was adopted when he was 6, and it was the Markey’s who hosted Ben on a visit through Camp Hope and introduced him to the Lang’s. Ben and Sam are very good friends, Sam will also enlist in the Marines.
Waukee plays at Centennial Friday night at 7:00 p.m.