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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    ' An athlete made it cool to hang out with a teen who has Down syndrome.'

    This was in my local news paper and it made me smile all day.

    'It's great to have him around'
    A mutual admiration society of two: An athlete made it cool to hang out with a teen who has Down syndrome.

    Matt Gentry | The Roanoke Times

    Chase Cloeter, 16, cheers for the Titans with his mother, Susan. She worried when he started high school, but Chase came home with a happy story.

    Watch the May 31 TimesCast for more on Chase Cloeter.
    FOREST -- Chase Cloeter smiled from underneath his Hidden Valley High School baseball cap. A win! Another win!

    Chase quickly circled around behind the Hidden Valley dugout and grabbed a cooler. With the help of a parent, the 16-year-old with Down syndrome lugged the drinks onto the field.

    "Chase!" team members screamed as he came toward them.

    "Heyyyyy, Chase!"

    "What's up, Chase!"

    Hidden Valley center fielder Daniel Gills ran over, scooped Chase up in a bear hug and shouted to him.

    "How'd we do, buddy?!" Gills said. "How'd we do?!"

    Chase didn't need to answer. The Titans had done well Tuesday, winning 5-3 over Jefferson Forest, setting up a regional playoff game against Northside tonight in Pulaski.

    Asked if he planned to attend that game, Chase grinned.

    "Sure," he said. "Count me in!"

    Count him in.

    Count him in at the lunch table at school, where he sits with all the jocks. Count him in the inner circle of the hallways, where he gets a random high-five or a hug from everyone on this team. Count him in the post-game dinners, the parties, the jokes, the fun.

    Count him in to all of it, because thanks to one young man's kindness, this team certainly does

    more at link:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Wonderful story! Thanks for posting it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    I'm so happy for Chase and also very happy for his mother, dear lady:

    'Chase's mother braced herself for bad news. At best, Susan Cloeter figured a freshman with Down syndrome would be ignored in high school. At worst, he'd be abused.'

    she'll have had the stuffing knocked out of her in the past with hopes for her son coming to naught until now!

    now she knows those outside her family love Chase too, no matter if he is as 'able' as others or not. he gives joy just by being around.

    that young man, Daniel Gills, had a big enough heart to not give a toss about what anyone thought of him befriending Chase. and i have no doubt he gets as much out of the friendship as Chase does.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    What a fabulous story!!!


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    What a great story!!!!

    I think this has more to do about the community itself..
    Obviously those children were raised well!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Wonderful story, unfortunately, it is rare!

    I would love to see more people act like these kids at this school!