SUPERIOR, Nebraska (STPNS) -- Spencer Trapp and his parents, Bob and Sue, returned home to Superior last week after taping a segment in Hollywood, Calif., for the popular "Dr. Phil Show," hosted by the folksy self-help guru, Phil McGraw.

Trapp, a senior football standout at Superior High School, suffered a neck injury on Sept. 5 in the first game of the season against Grand Island Central Catholic, played in Grand Island. Surgery was performed that weekend, with screws, a plate and a piece of bone from his hip used to make repairs.



They don't know when the show featuring Spencer will air; all they can do is keep checking the website for programming information. The program airs weekdays at 4 p.m. (CST) on KLKN-TV, Lincoln.

"When the first phone call came, we thought it was a hoax," Bob said.

The first step in the process was a series of interviews and segments taped in Superior. A woman came from Montana to interview Spencer, his parents, coaches, school administrators and other players. Joining her were two men from Kansas City ญญ a sound man and a light man.

They spent a lot of time taping at Superior High School on Sept. 17 and 18, and at the football game against Tri-County on Sept. 19. They also had to get permission from the surgeon for Spencer to fly.

Spencer and his parents then flew from Omaha to Los Angeles on Saturday morning, where they were met by "a guy in a suit, holding a sign with our names on it and driving a black car with tinted windows."

They were driven to Dr. Phil's residence and private studio in Hollywood, where they taped yet more segments for the final product still to air.

"They interviewed Spencer for about two more hours there, and me and Bob for about 45 minutes each," Sue said.

The three stayed at the Renaissance Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard, compliments of Dr. Phil. They had Sunday and Monday pretty much to themselves for sight-seeing and other activities.

While in Los Angeles, they visited Dave and Kim Williams' daughter, Heather, who lives there. Cory Kopsa's nephew, Zach, also lives there and he took them on a tour.

During the two days to themselves, they also went to a taping of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" which is taped in front of a live audience at the El Capitan Theatre and airs on ABC.

On Tuesday morning, they were picked up at the hotel and taken to Paramount Studios to tape the actual Dr. Phil Show in front of the live audience. After signing release form after release form, they each spent time with a makeup artist (Bob said they didn't spend too much time on his hair).

On the same show with Spencer and his parents will be two other segments taped the same day ญญ one about a network television cameraman who was struck by lightning at the Great Wall while working in China covering the Olympics; and another about a man from London who was lost at sea for about 30 days.

The three segments are all part of the grand promotional scheme for Dr. Phil's latest book, Preparing for the 7 Most Challenging Days of your Life.

"Overall, it was a very positive experience for us," Sue said. "Exhausting, but positive."

Bob said he would like everyone to know how grateful they are to live and work in Superior.

"I'd also like to emphasize the importance of weight training for athletes. If Spencer hadn't worked so hard in the weight room before the accident, it could have been much worse, like paralysis," Bob said. "We're lucky Spencer is a self-starter. We didn't have to get on him at all to go to the weight room. He just did it."

"We're truly blessed for this wonderful place to live and raise a family," Sue said. "Students, parents, teachers, administrators, our store employees, the whole community has been so supportive."

Spencer's checkups since the surgery have been very good. He is scheduled for another x-ray Tuesday in Lincoln and will have to wear a neck collar for a total of eight weeks.

He was planning to play college football, Sue said, but he will have to select a school using different criteria now.