Freshman and JV sports don’t get much attention in our world. Covering the hundreds of varsity programs in the area is certainly enough.
But a great story from St. Joseph, Missouri, caught my attention and I wanted to pass it along.
The setting takes place at freshman football game between St. Joseph Benton and Maryville. Benton coach Dan McCamy, like each game and practice, had been hearing the familiar calls from Matt Ziesel on the sideline.
“I’m ready, Coach,” said Ziesel, 15, who has Down’s syndrome.
This time McCamy chose not to ignore the eager plea.
With 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter and Marysville comfortably ahead 46-0, McCamy called timeout and asked the opposing defensive coach David McEnaney if they would let Ziesel score on the next play.
The team agreed and moments later the 5-foot-3, 110-pounder took a handoff and ran 60 yards down the sideline all the way to the endzone, capping his scoring run with a triumphant leap.
“It’s just amazing how one play can mean so much to one kid and then to a team and then to a community,” McCamy said [last] Thursday after practice. “And now it’s spread not just to the community of St. Joseph, but now it’s spread across the region. How something so simple can impact so many — to me, that’s the amazing part about it.”
And now it has spread across the country.
If that doesn’t warm your heart, I’m not sure much will. Here’s the video of the run:
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