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.