Boy With Down Syndrome Scores Heartwarming Touchdown For High School Football Team
8-year-old Gabe White is a “manager” for Rhinelander High School’s freshman football team in Wisconsin. He’s also the team’s biggest fan. Moments after time expired during the team’s last game of the season on Oct. 16, Gabe was called off the sidelines and onto the field. All of the sudden, everyone was cheering for him.
Gabe, who has Down syndrome, is the younger brother of the team’s #84, Owen White. Rival high school Mosinee had already won the game by the time Gabe took the field, but that didn’t stop him from giving it his all when he was asked to score a “winning” touchdown for the Rhinelander Hodags.
As he ran for the end zone, football in hand, Mosinee players did their part by diving to tackle him, missing him only by inches. Through it all, his big brother was right behind him.
When he made it to the end zone, the Hodags celebrated by lifting him onto their shoulders, to cheers from the audience.
“When they went to go lift him up at the end, that was the minute. That was the big minute for us and even some of our coaches were tearing up and that’s a weird thing because I haven’t seen that side of them,” coach Mark Apfel told NBC 12.
Apfel and Gabe’s family said they wanted to “do something special” for him because of the incredible influence he’s been on the team this season.
“[When] we’re losing and it’s kind of a rough game, he’ll go up to a player, give him a hug, just changes your mood,” Owen told ABC 9.
H/T 22 Words