MOORESVILLE, N.C. — An 11-year-old living with Down syndrome scored his first touchdown for his youth football team in the last game of the season last weekend.
Coaches from both Mooresville Youth Athletics teams helped to make the moment extra special for James Steers.
“Apparently, his dad saw the coaches talking, or someone was talking, and that’s when he turned around to me and said, ‘Get your phone out,’” said Karen Bryden, James’ stepmom.
The game between the Blizzards and James’ team, the Twisters, took place on Mother’s Day at Mooresville High School.
James’ mother and stepmother were not sure if he would experience such a milestone.
“They’d hand off the ball and he would run, and the other teammates, they’d snatch his flag because they were a little quicker than he was on the field,” Bryden said.
But not on Sunday.
The teams’ coaches joined together to make one last momentous play with the final score intact.
The teams cleared a path and James ran straight down the field.
“I was crying like a baby,” Bryden said. “Okay, like I was trying not to be yelling and screaming because I was recording, and I didn’t want my loudness in the video.”
James made it into the red zone to score his first-ever touchdown.
“I feel happy. Very very happy!” James said.
“Every day, he does new things that amazes us,” Bryden said. “I just really, really hope that it opens doors for other people.”
James is not only a star on the field, he excels in the classroom.
“He’s doing things that some children with Down syndrome will never be able to experience,” Bryden said.
(Watch the video below: Panthers tight end life-long friendship with young man who lives with down syndrome)
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