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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Central PA

    15-year-old w/ Down's Syndrome scores only touchdown for his team.

    ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- A freshman at Benton High School in St. Joseph, Mo., is being treated like a VIP after scoring the only touchdown for his team in a losing game this week.

    Bev Chapman/KMBC
    Matt Ziesel and his father, Mike Ziesel

    Matt Ziesel, 15, has Down Syndrome.

    On Monday night, the Benton Cardinals football team was losing its game against Maryville.

    "Looking back, it's a great game. At the time we were down 46 to nothing and it was probably the worst-looking game I've ever seen as a coach," Benton Coach Dan McCamy told KMBC's Bev Chapman.

    That's when McCamy asked the opposing team to give up a shut-out and let Ziesel carry the ball.

    "Have you always wanted to play football?" Chapman asked Ziesel.

    "Yes, I do play good," Ziesel said.

    High School Player's Inspiring Touchdown

    "His effort's there all the time -- he's just like anyone else on the team to us," McCamy said.

    So McCamy decided to approach the opposing team for a special play.

    "I did come over to some confused looks. They're, like, 'Ten seconds left in the game, 46 to nothing, what is he going to do? Throw in the towel?'" McCamy said.

    Instead, he asked them if they would let them run what he called Matt's Play. (YouTube Video Posted Below)

    "I don't want him touched. No physical contact, but I want it to be as real as possible," McCamy said.

    To add to the effect, McCamy ran along the sidelines, shouting.

    "'They're right behind you -- you've got to go. They're going to get you. They're going to get you!'" McCamy shouted.

    More at link:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    In my own reality...it's nicer here.
    Proof...the human spirit is indeed alive and well!

  3. #3
    Thanks for posting this! I just came across this story and hoped it was here, too. I'm so glad that Matt got this chance, and that both teams of young men were able to witness and take part in it. Very, very cool.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    He is an adorable boy! I think that was an important lesson for all the kids and families - take the time for others that may be different from you. We all have disabilities, strengths and weaknesses. I hope he realizes how many people he made smile!

  5. #5
    God bless the 14 and 15 year old boys on the other team who let this boy have his glory.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    This story brought tears to my eyes - partly because I felt so good for the boy and partly because it restored my faith in teenagers.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    San Antonio
    I wanted to thank you yesterday for bringing this to our attention. It is one thing for me to have tears well up in my eyes, but to have them streaming down my cheeks... I just could not post a reply at the time.

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