go to MSN.com
Originally written on The Victory Formation  |  Last updated 10/4/14

via The Victory Formation:

There are times when we question why we allow ourselves to care so much about sports. As I’ve grown older, the ignorance of it ‘being just a game’ is gone. It is a business, and it tends to muck it up at times. Additionally, we read about people like the parent in Texas who doesn’t understand the difference between their son being bullied and just being on a terrible team. It is just things like as such that make me want to stop paying so much attention. Then I read and see things like what took place in Wisconsin that reel me back and remind me how great sports can be.

Noah VanVooren, born with Down syndrome, has been the Little Chute High School football team manager the last four years. He is as much of the program as anyone that wears a uniform, and he was rewarded for his dedication to them by suiting up for a game, and having the opportunity to put an exclamation point on the team’s playoff-clinching victory with 1.2 seconds remaining:

As the crowd chanted, “Noah! Noah!” VanVooren jogged onto the field and lined up alongside quarterback Sam Merryfield.

VanVooren took the handoff from Merryfield and ran around right end 35 yards into the end zone, spiking the football before his teammates swarmed him.

Here is video of the action:

Following the game, Noah reminded his teammates to be ready for practice on Monday, telling them not to be late. He also led them in the school’s fight song. While it was awesome to see Little Chute work Noah into the game, more credit should be given to their opponents from Clintonville. Already being blown out 55-0, they allowed Noah to have his moment, “chasing him” as he scored. That is a sign of respect and class that cannot be measured. Yeah, sports can sometimes be messy, but this is why it can be amazing.

15 Comments:
  • I have a child with mosaic Down syndrome. He has a big brother that plays football and lacrosse. It would be a beautiful opportunity, if my son could have the experience that this young man had the courage and strength to do! What a wonderful community!
  • Hats off to The Little Chute Coaches and Players and most importantly to the entire Clintonville Program. This was a very classy and moving experience and it is one that everyone will hopefully learn from. Keep fighting Noah you are an inspiration. To the Head Coach at Clintonville....You really get it and thank god you are coaching young men. You have taught them a valuable lesson.
  • Just what ARE the duties of a football team "manager"? I've always felt that term was SO inflated. Someone keeps the equipment organized, and they're called "manager"? What an ego boost, I guest, but it's also patronizing. They handle smelly sweaty equipment for the most part. What else do they "manage" ? The players? The strategies? The workout programs? Let's do away with such a condescending term. I'm sure many with DS realize the patronizing nature of "manager." Seems like a lot of "managers" of football teams have DS or similar. Stop the condescension with "manager" already.
  • The football "manager" duties are to help the coaches with keeping things in order throughout the season. There are no "duties". They change on a daily basis. There is nothing condescending about the term manager. My daughter has been a "manager" for her 4 years in HS. She does not have DS, but she is a little more compassionate than you are along with being a better speller, hence your word GUEST instead of guess or guessed. But hey, I guess "normal" people have a right to belittle anyone they want.
  • PATTAP - You can't seriously be this idiotic? Are people really capable of such idiocy?
  • Unless you have a child with a disability, you might not be able to recognize the importance of feeling a part of something "bigger" than oneself. This type of opportunity, allows children to feel part of a group and a community. I have a child with a disability..ds and feel that what this community did, and the opposing team, was truly sportsman like conduct...not condescending in any facet! I also have been a teacher and coach for over twenty years. Their intentions are truly inspiring.
  • Both of these teams won something greater than any victory could ever yield! Thank you gentlemen for showing us what is more important than the sport itself. You are my heroes!
    I am a fan through and through!
  • WOW! What can you say? What an amazing opportunity both teams gave this young man. It really makes me grateful for these two head coaches who instill such a positive influence on the boys in their programs (and community) . Couldn't have been easy for the losing squad to be that gracious, but they are all winners for having been a part of this.
  • Am I the only one who immediately thought Quasimodo?
  • My younger brother in law has a learning disability, but he never let that stop him from realizing some pretty great things. He joined a volunteer fire brigade, and they call him a fireman. He usually cleans around the firehouse and helps maintain equipment as he is able, and he never goes out on calls, but they call him a fireman anyhow. Condescending? I think not. He gets a real kick out of it, and the real firemen get a great feeling by helping out someone who has the guts and drive, but maybe not the ability, to be a fireman. Until you see the joy on the face of the kid who gets to be called Team Manager or Fireman, even though "all" they really do is wash trucks or serve Gatorade, you don't understand how powerful a healing thing that can be.
  • It's good to some positive news out there. There is so much news regarding teens poor behavior but we all know there are good kids everywhere and we more news like this. Everyone benefits from things like this.
  • That's called cheating!
  • Well, just to play devil's advocate, would anyone on the other team even try to tackle him? Who wants to be known as the kid who tackled someone with Down syndrome? These days, they let anyone and everyone play football. It used to be a serious sport that taught kids discipline and the importance of practicing to get better and good enough for the team. Now, it's "Everyone gets to play equally and no one works hard to be any good."
  • I enjoy seeing stories like this. It's good to know there are boys out there that know how to be men. Both teams are to be congratulated for not only their display of sportsmanship, but for being men who aren’t afraid of being compassionate.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Matt Kemp lifts Dodgers to win with home run

Johnny Manziel missing the college life

WATCH: Arizona State beats USC on Hail Mary

Spike Lee making film to teach fans triangle offense

Ole Miss upsets Bama 23-17

Report: Bill Simmons wants out at ESPN

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Florida benches Jeff Driskel, beats Tennessee

Lucas Oil executive goes on racist social media rant

Shaun King: Florida WRs should boycott Jeff Driskel

Blues fan dies after falling at Scottrade Center

War Machine in letter from jail: I was 'ambushed'

Johnny Manziel wants to offer advice to Jameis Winston

WATCH: Referee gets trucked by Maryland RB

WATCH: Belt's HR in the 18th inning puts Giants up 2-0

Rutgers fans rush field after beating Michigan

Ole Miss fans make out on field after Alabama upset

WATCH: Katy Perry chugs drink, dives off table at Oxford bar

TCU takes down Oklahoma

GRAPHIC: Alabama RB Kenyan drake suffers gruesome injury

WATCH: Miss. State WR pulls a DeSean Jackson at goal line

WATCH: Skating singer wipes out during national anthem

WATCH: OSU's Michael Thomas gives defender no chance on TD

WATCH: SEC ref gets extremely heated after turning wrong way

WATCH: Katy Perry crushes on college QBs on 'GameDay'

High School News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

RUMORS & GOSSIP

WATCH: Matt Kemp lifts Dodgers to win with home run

After Matt Carpenter hit a two-run homer off J.P. Howell in the eighth to move the Cardinals into a 2-2 tie with the Dodgers, Los Angeles fans were nervous, especially after what happened on Friday with Clayton Kershaw. But fear not, Dodgers fans – Matt Kemp was on the scene to drag your club to a victory. Pat Neshek allowed just two homers to right-handed hitters during the entire...
Via The Outside Corner
1 hour ago

Johnny Manziel missing the college life

Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel apparently enjoys sitting on the bench in the NFL less than being the toast of the town at Texas A&M. Imagine that. Manziel had this to say to Cleveland.com about his transition to the National Football League (via NFL.com).  I don’t think I miss school, but I miss those guys in the locker room. I miss Coach Sumlin. I think...
Via Sportsnaut
10 hours ago

WATCH: Arizona State beats USC on Hail Mary

The Arizona State Sun Devils stunned the USC Trojans and fans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as time expired on Saturday night. Down by two with four seconds left, Arizona State quarterback Mike Bercovici dropped back for a last-ditch hail mary attempt. What happened next is what makes college football so grand. Talented Sun Devil wide receiver Jaelen Strong hauled in the hail...
Via Sportsnaut
3 hours ago

Spike Lee making film to teach fans triangle offense

Jason Whitney The New York Knicks are entering their first full season under the reigns of Phil Jackson and his complex Triangle Offense. While Knicks fans have heard of the offense, it was usually because Michael Jordan and the Bulls were using it to break the hearts of the Knicks faithful during the 1990s. Then, the Zen […] Sports-Kings - The Kings of Sports Lists - Sports bloggers...
Via Sports-Kings
7 hours ago

Ole Miss upsets Bama 23-17

A fourth-quarter Ole Miss comeback stunned No. 3 Alabama as the Rebels’ celebrated the 23-17 win in Oxford. It was the first over Alabama since 2003 and lifted Ole Miss to 5-0 for the first time since 1962. It also dented Alabama’s playoff résumé with a brutal SEC West schedule remaining. After trailing the Crimson Tide at halftime, Ole Miss scored three second-half touchdowns...
Via Thacover2
7 hours ago

Report: Bill Simmons wants out at ESPN

Has Bill Simmons really outgrown his relationship with ESPN, and is the Sports Guy ready to make a major move? According to a Yahoo Sports report, Simmons isn’t happy with the World Wide Leader.  Nicholas Carlson spoke with a few industry execs to gauge their opinions on the matter.  Several different circumstances could come into play on the matter.  Simmons’ contract is...
Via Thacover2
9 hours ago

Florida benches Jeff Driskel, beats Tennessee

With one quarter remaining in Florida’s contest against Tennessee, Gators fans are finally getting their wish. Head coach Will Muschamp has decided to bench starting quarterback Jeff Driskel in favor of freshman Treon Harris. Harris will work his first series to start the fourth quarter. Treon Harris enters for the #Gators. — GatorZone Football (@GatorZoneFB) October 4, 2014...
Via College Spun
12 hours ago

Lucas Oil executive goes on racist social media rant

At a time when the NFL is dealing with pushback from corporate sponsors during the whole domestic violence scandal, the last thing it needs is a sponsor creating a stir due to racist remarks from an executive. Unfortunately for the league, that’s exactly what happened when Lucas Oil executive vice president and co-founder Charlotte Lucas took to social media to air her issues...
Via Sportsnaut
11 hours ago

Shaun King: Florida WRs should boycott Jeff Driskel

A few weeks back, former Florida running back Emmitt Smith, one of the all-time NFL greats, tweeted out his displeasure with Florida starting quarterback Jeff Driskel. Apparently he’s not the only former pro who doesn’t seem to understand why Driskel is still playing for the Gators. Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Shaun King, who now does radio for NBC Sports, believes...
Via College Spun
13 hours ago

Blues fan dies after falling at Scottrade Center

A 34-year-old woman died Thursday after falling off of an escalator at a St. Louis Blues preseason game. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Melissa “Missy” Miles of St. Louis was pronounced dead at the hospital with injuries after she fell while sliding down an escalator following the Blues’ preseason game with the Minnesota Wild. After the game, Miles tried to slide...
Via NESN.com
13 hours ago
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.