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Down Syndrome Boy's 60-Yard Touchdown Run an Internet Hit
LifeSiteNews ^ | 9/21/09 | Thaddeus M. Baklinski

Posted on 09/21/2009 3:42:30 PM PDT by wagglebee

ST. JOSEPH, Missouri, September 21, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A heart-warming story of true sportsmanship last week turned what might have been a dismal defeat into an extraordinary victory for both teams and everyone who witnessed Matt Ziesel's touchdown run.

Matt, who has Down syndrome, is a freshman at Benton High School in St. Joseph, Mo. Despite his disability he suits up for every football game and cheers on his teammates from the sidelines.

Last Monday night the Benton Cardinals football team was losing its game against the Maryville Spoofhounds 46-0 when, with about ten seconds left in the game, Benton coach Dan McCamy called a timeout and went to confer with Spoofhounds coach David McEnaney.

"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 told NBC Sports.

Instead, he proposed that, if they were not opposed to giving up the shutout, they let Ziesel carry the ball in what he called Matt's Play. "I don't want him touched. No physical contact, but I want it to be as real as possible," McCamy said.

"I said 'Yeah, that's fine coach. Tell him to run all the way to the end zone," coach McEnaney said. "The (Maryville) kids got on board. They were real excited about it."

The Maryville Daily Forum described the play: Following the timeout Ziesel took his spot to the left of the quarterback. The ball was snapped and Ziesel took the ball on a sweep to the right gaining speed as he went. As he raced down the right sideline, Spoofhounds defenders peeled off one after the other.

Ziesel carried the ball for a 60-yard touchdown escorted into the end zone by his teammates who wrapped him in hugs following the score.

The crowd clapped and cheered their approval, and after the game, Matt Ziesel enthused, "I scored a touchdown! 60 yards, I go for touchdown for us!"

McEnaney said the Spoofhounds gave up their shutout but it was a small price to pay in comparison to what they got in return.

"It was a great opportunity for our kids to kind of realize that while, yes, winning is a big deal, there's bigger life lessons out there," McEnaney said.

Mike Ziesel, Matt's father and a high school athletic director, told Fox 4 News, "The people at Maryville were terrific. Our fans have always been supportive.

"Like any school in our conference, or in the area, you want to win. But to see those kids do what they did and their coaching staff, our coaching staff, collaborate on something like that was a feel good situation.

"You hear the loud cheering and see the support they give him. It's a sign of real sportsmanship and that winning is not the most important thing, or shutouts are not the most important thing," Mike Ziesel said.

The touchdown touched the hearts of everyone at the game, and since coach McCamy posted the video to YouTube the day after the game, it has been viewed almost 300,000 times.

The final score of the game was 46-6 in favor of the Spoofhounds, but on that extraordinary Monday night, everybody won.

Watch the YouTube video here. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ylwXOxKb7I)



TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: downsyndrome; football; moralabsolutes; prolife
"It was a great opportunity for our kids to kind of realize that while, yes, winning is a big deal, there's bigger life lessons out there," McEnaney said.

These kids has something to really be proud of.

1 posted on 09/21/2009 3:42:31 PM PDT by wagglebee
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To: cgk; Coleus; cpforlife.org; narses; Salvation; 8mmMauser

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2 posted on 09/21/2009 3:44:33 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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3 posted on 09/21/2009 3:45:25 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

The coach and players of the green team should be commended as well. That was so nice and this young man will never forget it !!
That was great !


4 posted on 09/21/2009 3:54:47 PM PDT by Pedrobud ( Wake up America !!!)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: wagglebee

I wonder where the Spoofhounds got the name for their team (serious question)? Usually high-school teams pick college or pro teams, but I’ve never heard of any other team with that name.


6 posted on 09/21/2009 3:55:50 PM PDT by Little Pig (Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici.)
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To: wagglebee

I disagree.

In spite of the downs, Matt sounds like a pretty bright kid. Should he find out it was all a dishonest trick, the coach and team’s “feel good” (pat ourselves on the back) moment will have been at Matt’s expense.


7 posted on 09/21/2009 3:56:07 PM PDT by Kimberly GG (Sarah Palin - Supports a "path to citizenship" for illegal aliens. "path to citizenship" IS AMNESTY)
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To: wagglebee

Big heart’s were on that field, on the side line’s and in the stand’s, God smiled.


8 posted on 09/21/2009 3:57:38 PM PDT by Dusty Road
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To: wagglebee

That is true sportsmanship shown by both coaches and players. A big thank you from a football fan.


9 posted on 09/21/2009 3:58:32 PM PDT by DownInFlames (C)
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To: Little Pig

Never mind, found it in wikipedia (at least the non-political stuff is fairly reliable). Back in the ‘20s, the Spoof Hound was a plaster toy prize from a carnival, similar to a Kewpie doll. One day around that time, when the players were having a particularly bad day, the coach told them they were playing like spoofhounds, and the players adopted the name for each other. Eventually it became popular enough that the team formally adopted the name. They are the only team in the country that uses this name.


10 posted on 09/21/2009 3:59:18 PM PDT by Little Pig (Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici.)
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To: Kimberly GG

I don’t see it as a trick. They gave him a touchdown as a gift.

Very kind of them.


11 posted on 09/21/2009 4:05:00 PM PDT by Retired Greyhound
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To: Little Pig

Good story. They’re not the only unusually named team.

Scottsdale (AZ) Community College’s sports teams are the Artichokes.


12 posted on 09/21/2009 4:07:01 PM PDT by HiJinx (~ Support Our Troops ~ www.proudpatriots.org~)
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To: Kimberly GG
Should he find out it was all a dishonest trick,

I disagree with you.

It wasn't 'dishonest', and it wasn't a 'trick'.

Matt knew they lost, and lost badly.

All that happened was that Matt got the opportunity to keep it from being a shutout.

I have seen pro football teams who have let another team escape the same situation, and they only did so because they were tired.

The coaches and players of the two teams in this video did it for a very different reason.

13 posted on 09/21/2009 4:07:47 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Where's this tagline thing everyone keeps talking about?)
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To: All
inged from Terri Dailies


14 posted on 09/21/2009 4:08:26 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee
I've read Jesus said, "You will be judged by how you treat the least among you".

Thanks for posting!

15 posted on 09/21/2009 4:10:36 PM PDT by Errant (`)
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To: wagglebee

Now that is what I call coaches.
Great job teaching those kids, and learning from them.


16 posted on 09/21/2009 4:15:46 PM PDT by Joe Boucher (google; operation garden spot and REX84 (FUBO))
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To: wagglebee

If you read some of the posts below the video, it’s hard to feel compassion for some of the responders!


17 posted on 09/21/2009 4:16:34 PM PDT by Randy Larsen ( BTW, If I offend you! Please let me know, I may want to offend you again!)
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To: wagglebee

If you read some of the posts below the video, it’s hard to feel compassion for some of the responders!


18 posted on 09/21/2009 4:17:27 PM PDT by Randy Larsen ( BTW, If I offend you! Please let me know, I may want to offend you again!)
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To: wagglebee

I coached kids for 15 years in football. You would be amazed at how good they can be if given the chance. It was some of the best 15 years of my life.


19 posted on 09/21/2009 4:20:01 PM PDT by RC2
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To: Randy Larsen
If you read some of the posts below the video, it’s hard to feel compassion for some of the responders!

Some people are simply consumed with hatred.

20 posted on 09/21/2009 4:20:31 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Randy Larsen

Disgusting comments. But great video


21 posted on 09/21/2009 4:20:48 PM PDT by pesto
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To: Randy Larsen

Yeah, I saw post #5 was pulled and wondered how anyone could say anything bad about that, then I read the youtube comments.


22 posted on 09/21/2009 4:22:32 PM PDT by Richard Kimball (We're all criminals. They just haven't figured out what some of us have done yet.)
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To: Richard Kimball; wagglebee

I usually try to make fools of people like them but I think they already did a better job of it than I could ever hope to do.


23 posted on 09/21/2009 4:25:44 PM PDT by Randy Larsen ( BTW, If I offend you! Please let me know, I may want to offend you again!)
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To: Randy Larsen; Richard Kimball

Sometimes just letting everyone see what an ass a person is does the trick.


24 posted on 09/21/2009 4:27:20 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

Thanks, wagglebee, I just sent this wonderful story to my Down Syndrome grandson’s parents.

What a winner!


25 posted on 09/21/2009 4:38:02 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I knew you would enjoy it!


26 posted on 09/21/2009 4:39:39 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee
These kids has something to really be proud of.

So do their parents. All of the kids involved show that they understand the meaning of "sportsmanship".

27 posted on 09/21/2009 4:40:31 PM PDT by mountainbunny (Mitt Romney: Would you buy a used car from this man?)
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To: wagglebee

Boy, I hate to be a wet blanket, but I don’t agree with what the coach came up with. I would have let the kid play, and instructed he receive the pass, but then let him take his tackle like the rest of ‘em remembering to tell him to really hang on to the ball. Then at the end of the game, the team’s players could all of given him a huge pat on the back saying they know exactly how he feels (it was 46-0!) ... I think he would have felt pretty good about that hobbling back to the bench.


28 posted on 09/21/2009 4:46:06 PM PDT by mlizzy (Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapels Everywhere spells P.E.A.C.E.)
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To: wagglebee

Thanks for posting that!


29 posted on 09/21/2009 4:46:51 PM PDT by PERKY2004 (Proud Military Wife -- Please pray for our troops!)
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To: wagglebee

Sorry - but that is not football. There are lots of ways to show love but breaking the rules is not one of them.


30 posted on 09/21/2009 4:50:03 PM PDT by blackminorca
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To: wagglebee
Thanks for posting.

Growing up in Avon, NY we had a guy with Downs Syndrome, Drew Moran

I don't know how old he was back then, but he suited up for every game I can remember, he started before I started HS and continued well after I left.

The coaches had assigned him (allowed him ?) a bunch of jobs, being part of the team was the most important thing in his life. I'd forgotten all that, till I read the post. Thanks !

31 posted on 09/21/2009 4:54:15 PM PDT by JMJJR ( Newspeak is the official language of Oceania)
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To: wagglebee

Sounds like WaterBoy in real life.


32 posted on 09/21/2009 5:12:47 PM PDT by MrDem (And this is a loyal lifelong Democrat saying this...)
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To: Little Pig
"They are the only team in the country that uses this name."

Wow! I've live near Maryville and St. Joseph all my life and had no idea that Spoofhound was a unique name.

I run our football booster club, every week we serve the team a meal. My best volunteers are a family with a son who is DS. Pierce is the most loyal fan to our football team. Win or lose he is just happy to see them play and get to spend time with them each week. I'm sending this video to his mom to make sure she sees it, but I suspect she knows all about it. The families with Down children are a very close knit group in our area.

33 posted on 09/21/2009 5:23:11 PM PDT by buschbaby
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To: Kimberly GG

With your own situation taking into account it is surprising you don’t have just a little of compassion!!!


34 posted on 09/21/2009 6:05:54 PM PDT by danamco
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To: blackminorca
There are lots of ways to show love but breaking the rules is not one of them.

Which rules were broken?

35 posted on 09/21/2009 6:16:02 PM PDT by Libloather (Tea Totaler, PROUD Birther, Mobster)
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To: Little Pig

36 posted on 09/21/2009 7:05:31 PM PDT by rawhide
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To: Coleus; nickcarraway; narses; Mr. Silverback; Canticle_of_Deborah; TenthAmendmentChampion; ...

Pro-Life PING

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37 posted on 09/21/2009 7:12:27 PM PDT by cpforlife.org (A Catholic Respect Life Curriculum is available FREE at KnightsForLife.org)
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To: danamco

My goodness. You have no idea of the depth of my compassion. My compassion IS for Matt. Just because he’s disabled doesn’t mean he would appreciate the dishonesty, should he discover (and no doubt, he can read) his achievement was not of his own making. As someone who IS disabled, it irks me to no end to be treated that way, as if my disability makes me stupid.
Oh well, nevermind, I can see from the other posts most just don’t understand.


38 posted on 09/21/2009 8:22:42 PM PDT by Kimberly GG (Sarah Palin - Supports a "path to citizenship" for illegal aliens. "path to citizenship" IS AMNESTY)
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To: cpforlife.org
Ziesel carried the ball for a 60-yard touchdown escorted into the end zone by his teammates who wrapped him in hugs following the score.

The crowd clapped and cheered their approval, and after the game, Matt Ziesel enthused, "I scored a touchdown! 60 yards, I go for touchdown for us!"

Gosh, stories like these always bring tears to my eyes.

Thanks for sharing this heartwarming story.

39 posted on 09/21/2009 8:24:54 PM PDT by Victoria Delsoul
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To: wagglebee

My daughter, who does not have any disability other than a fear/dislike of organized sports, had a moment like this a couple of years ago in fourth grade p/e. She finally got to score at dodgeball to day the teacher deliberately started an argument with the person who should have thrown her out, in order to give her time to run. She just beamed when she got home, and later I heard about how her big moment happened from the teacher. I normally would say that sticking to the rules is the way to go and that people should earn their points, but I’m really glad the teacher did what he did. With a little confidence gained from that experience, she played a bit better and had a better attitude about p/e after that.


40 posted on 09/21/2009 10:57:15 PM PDT by married21
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To: Libloather

The biggest rule of all - fair play.


41 posted on 09/22/2009 4:52:44 AM PDT by blackminorca
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To: Kimberly GG

“doesn’t mean he would appreciate the dishonesty, should he discover (and no doubt, he can read) his achievement was not of his own making. “

exactly


42 posted on 09/22/2009 4:53:55 AM PDT by blackminorca
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To: Kimberly GG

Your thoughts mirror mine. I was hesitant to post them since the words fool and hater are being thrown around here.

IMO, there’s nothing better for kids like this than knowing they did something ON THEIR OWN. Since he’s in High School, and knowing how High School kids are, I’m 100% certain that he’s been told that his “touchdown” was a gimme. I hope that it didn’t hurt him too much.


43 posted on 09/22/2009 5:07:04 AM PDT by American_Centurion (No, I don't trust the government to automatically do the right thing.)
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To: blackminorca; Kimberly GG

I agree with both of you.

While I am happy to see that the opposing players and coaches had the class to go along, I am also somewhat disturbed by Matt’s coach coming up with this idea.

Locally, we have a martial arts instructor who accepted and eventually promoted to black belt, an individual confined to a wheel chair who also has disabilities that impair the use of at least one arm.

Why would anyone set up another individual with false expectations?

While I applaud that instructor for his patience, I have issues with what he has done. This poor student in his mind believes he is a black belt, yet any untrained thug could rob and or kill this “black belt” with impunity.

Same goes for this young man - in his mind he scored a 60 yard touchdown run, when in reality he was demeaned by his own well-meaning coach.

We, as a society, are starting to see the effects of the last 60 years or so of the progressives’ everyone is equal and we will use the force of government to force that belief on society” mindset, when Matt’s coaches’ actions are applauded and wheelchair-bound invalids are promoted to black belt.

We aren’t equal, and can never be, because God made us as individuals.

JMO


44 posted on 09/22/2009 5:09:01 AM PDT by Abundy
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