go to MSN.com
Originally written on The Victory Formation  |  Last updated 11/19/14

There are times when I question why I allow myself 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. Then 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 last Friday, that reel me back, and remind me how great sports can be. Noah VanVooren 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.Read more →

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

Eric Decker defends wife over social media comments

Brandon Marshall taken to hospital following injury

DeMarco Murray's alleged texts to ex-teammate's wife shared

Dodgers, Padres reportedly in trade talks for Matt Kemp

David Ortiz: I haven't spoken to A-Rod in almost one year

Ryan Leaf released from prison, looks shockingly different

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Art Briles: It's un-American to keep TCU ahead of Baylor

Gronkowski not worried about 'Bieber Curse': 'On to San Diego'

Texans place Jadeveon Clowney on injured reserve list

Nebraska hires Mike Riley as new football coach

Michael Vick doesn’t view being benched as being benched

Report: Jay Gruden has issues with RG3 on and off field

WATCH: Blimp crashes info fans at Blazers-Pacers game

WATCH: UCF beats ECU with game-ending Hail Mary

Cuba's new baseball revolution

Are the Dallas Mavericks title contenders?

Kobe Bryant, Rajon Rondo had breakfast together in Boston?

10 best available 2015 MLB non-tenders

10 candidates to replace Mike Riley at Oregon State

WATCH: Arian Foster speaks to media in British accent

Jim McElwain hired as Florida Gators football coach

NFL MVP Race: J.J. Watt or Aaron Rodgers?

WATCH: Ed Reed asks if hanging with Bieber could hurt Patriots

Ranking the NFL’s remaining nationally televised games

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
RUMORS & GOSSIP

Eric Decker defends wife over social media comments

New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker found himself once again in the position of being forced to defend his wife, country music singer Jessie James Decker, due to her outspoken nature and how it has caused another New York media firestorm. Decker spent most of his time speaking to the media on Thursday talking...Read More The post Eric Decker again discussing wife Jessie James...
Via Sportress of Blogitude
6 hours ago

Brandon Marshall taken to hospital following injury

Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall was injured in the second quarter of the team’s game against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football. Marshall took a knee to the back and was down for an extended period of time. The Bears initially indicated that the star receiver was questionable to return with a rib injury before ruling him out completely.  Further reports...
Via Sportsnaut
7 hours ago

DeMarco Murray's alleged texts to ex-teammate's wife shared

While DeMarco Murray was busy having a huge game for the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night, his ex-Oklahoma teammate was airing his dirty secrets over Twitter. You may recall that on Sunday former Oklahoma running back Brennan Clay claimed over Twitter that Murray was having an affair with his wife, Gina D’Agostini. Clay and D’Agostini...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
6 hours ago

Dodgers, Padres reportedly in trade talks for Matt Kemp

The Dodgers outfielder that may find a new home this winter may not be Carl Crawford or Andre Ethier – it could be Matt Kemp. Interest in Kemp is high this offseason, and the Padres have now jumped into the fray for Kemp. Sources: #Dodgers continue to discuss trade of Kemp to #Padres. Grandal likely would be in package going to LAD, and SD would get $ in deal. — Ken Rosenthal...
Via The Outside Corner
9 hours ago

David Ortiz: I haven't spoken to A-Rod in almost one year

            This embed is invalid   " /> David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez once were good friends, but apparently, that’s not the case anymore.   Back in January, the controversial New York Yankees third baseman’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, talked to ESPN Radio about performance enhancing drug use in baseball, saying “I’m not...
Via NESN.com
8 hours ago

Ryan Leaf released from prison, looks shockingly different

Hide yo wife, hide yo kids! Ryan Leaf has made parole! Leaf was released from a Great Falls, Montana, prison on Thursday and is out on parole after serving time for breaking into two homes and stealing prescription drugs in 2012. Leaf was initially doing his time in a drug treatment facility, but he was...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
7 hours ago

Art Briles: It's un-American to keep TCU ahead of Baylor

Attention, College Football Playoff selection committee: if you leave Baylor out of the playoff and keep TCU in, you’re basically un-American.  That’s what Bears’ coach Art Briles thinks, anyway.  The 59-year-old coach appeared on ESPN’s Mike & Mike program Thursday morning, during which he touched on a number of topics, including the health of his quarterback,...
Via College Spun
13 hours ago

Gronkowski not worried about 'Bieber Curse': 'On to San Diego'

      This embed is invalid   " /> New England Patriots fans woke up in a state of panic Tuesday morning. The cause: The curse of Justin Bieber had been bequeathed upon their favorite NFL team. Tight end Rob Gronkowski, linebackers Akeem Ayers and Darius Fleming and running backs Jonas Gray and Shane Vereen hung out with the pop singer Monday...
Via NESN.com
12 hours ago

Texans place Jadeveon Clowney on injured reserve list

An incredibly disappointing rookie season for Jadeveon Clowney officially came to an end on Thursday, as the Houston Texans announced that they have placed their No. 1 overall pick on season-ending IR. Texans coach Bill O’Brien said Clowney will have surgery on his right knee. With that, Clowney’s rookie season ends with just seven tackles...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
12 hours ago

Nebraska hires Mike Riley as new football coach

Nebraska went back to a familiar college football name by hiring Mike Riley as the program’s newest head coach to replace the recently fired Bo Pelini. #Huskers, help us welcome Coach Mike Riley to the Big Red family! #GBR — Nebraska Huskers (@Huskers) December 4, 2014   Riley, who began his college football coaching career as a graduate assistant under Mike White at...
Via Sportsnaut
14 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.