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Thread: There are GREAT people out there

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    "We Want Ike!": The Gift of Being Included


    Ike Ditzenberger had watched his big brothers play football. He grew up idolizing and imitating them. Ike wanted to play football too. And he even dared to talk about his dream of playing college football. Big deal, right? It just means that he is like thousands of other teenagers who dream of being an on-field hero.


    As a matter of fact, Ike is quite different from your "average" teenage boy. The 17-year-old junior at Snohomish (Washington) High School has Down Syndrome. His 5-foot-6, 160-pound frame isn't that of an athlete, and he doesn't have the motor skills to compete in a game where he could get hurt very easily.


    Ike is fortunate to have a supportive family. More than that, his classmates have given Ike the one gift that matters most to so many kids who have a handicap, look different, or stand out for the wrong reasons - the gift of inclusion. Still more specifically, Snohomish's football coach lets Ike come to practices and hang with the guys he admires. Coach Mark Perry has even created a play that ends every varsity practice. Called the Ike Special, the offense hands the ball to Ike. And he gets the thrill of running it toward a soft defensive line of his friends.


    On Friday, Sept. 24, 2010, the traditionally competitive Snohomish was absorbing its fourth loss of the season. A 35-0 drubbing at the hands of undefeated Lake Stevens High was mercifully about to end. With 10 seconds left on the clock, Coach Perry heard the "We want Ike!" chant from the stands, put Ike Ditzenberger into the backfield, and called the Ike Special. Wearing No. 57, Ike took the ball and began to run left. Although he appears to have stepped out of bounds, officials let the play continue - as his teammates ran interference and Lake Stevens players made reluctant efforts to get to him.


    By the time the clock had expired, Ike was in the end zone. He had run for 51 yards and scored Snohomish's only touchdown of the night. He got to dance in the end zone. The play that worked every time in practice had worked that night in a real game. And Ike got to head to the sidelines to rip off his helmet, pump it in the air, and - in his mom's words - "scream like a banshee."


    Grownups in the stands were crying. Lake Stevens players had given up a shutout for something far more important. Snohomish coaches and players had taken the final step in making Ike "one of the guys" with the team.


    With all the scandals in sports at all levels, it's nice to come across a story that affirms what games are supposed to teach - character, sportsmanship, team spirit, and self-confidence. Ike and his big brothers can talk football like never before for the rest of their lives now. The guys on the field that wonderful night can talk forever about the biggest play in their high school careers.


    If you missed it, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb_4f5nXZdA. It's a highlight play you don't want to miss.

  2. #2
    Super Member Minnesewta-sam's Avatar
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    I had missed it. Thanks for sharing. Very emotional...made me cry. :)

  3. #3
    Super Member MissM's Avatar
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    This is what family and community is all about. This is the type of community I remember growing up. Somewhere, somehow America has strayed away from that. Instead of this now it is the norm to have pregnat moms in the classrooms, bullys on facebook, and in the hallways, guns being carried to school, teens killing newborn babies and their parents, committing robbies,....this list goes on. It is a sad state of affairs. :-(

  4. #4
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    Miss M said it well! Wonderful to see there r still values!!

  5. #5
    Super Member KarenK's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissM
    This is what family and community is all about. This is the type of community I remember growing up. Somewhere, somehow America has strayed away from that. Instead of this now it is the norm to have pregnat moms in the classrooms, bullys on facebook, and in the hallways, guns being carried to school, teens killing newborn babies and their parents, committing robbies,....this list goes on. It is a sad state of affairs. :-(
    Thanks goodness that I still live in a small town where I would imagine that a football game like this one could occur. We are pretty sheltered and naive here---a good thing and yet not so good, since my children are too trusting.

  7. #7
    Super Member isnthatodd's Avatar
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    What a great story to share!

  8. #8
    Super Member happynana's Avatar
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    that was so touching, made me cry. I have a 2 yr old grandson with Down's and hope someday people are that wonderful to him. thanks for sharing.

  9. #9

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    High school sports is not often an arena for kindness - how incredibly heartwarming, especially on the part of the opponents. I was absolutely chilled to the bone on this 100 degree day, whith tears on my cheeks.

  10. #10
    Junior Member Derla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sailsablazin
    "We Want Ike!": The Gift of Being Included


    Ike Ditzenberger had watched his big brothers play football. He grew up idolizing and imitating them. Ike wanted to play football too. And he even dared to talk about his dream of playing college football. Big deal, right? It just means that he is like thousands of other teenagers who dream of being an on-field hero.


    As a matter of fact, Ike is quite different from your "average" teenage boy. The 17-year-old junior at Snohomish (Washington) High School has Down Syndrome. His 5-foot-6, 160-pound frame isn't that of an athlete, and he doesn't have the motor skills to compete in a game where he could get hurt very easily.


    Ike is fortunate to have a supportive family. More than that, his classmates have given Ike the one gift that matters most to so many kids who have a handicap, look different, or stand out for the wrong reasons - the gift of inclusion. Still more specifically, Snohomish's football coach lets Ike come to practices and hang with the guys he admires. Coach Mark Perry has even created a play that ends every varsity practice. Called the Ike Special, the offense hands the ball to Ike. And he gets the thrill of running it toward a soft defensive line of his friends.


    On Friday, Sept. 24, 2010, the traditionally competitive Snohomish was absorbing its fourth loss of the season. A 35-0 drubbing at the hands of undefeated Lake Stevens High was mercifully about to end. With 10 seconds left on the clock, Coach Perry heard the "We want Ike!" chant from the stands, put Ike Ditzenberger into the backfield, and called the Ike Special. Wearing No. 57, Ike took the ball and began to run left. Although he appears to have stepped out of bounds, officials let the play continue - as his teammates ran interference and Lake Stevens players made reluctant efforts to get to him.


    By the time the clock had expired, Ike was in the end zone. He had run for 51 yards and scored Snohomish's only touchdown of the night. He got to dance in the end zone. The play that worked every time in practice had worked that night in a real game. And Ike got to head to the sidelines to rip off his helmet, pump it in the air, and - in his mom's words - "scream like a banshee."


    Grownups in the stands were crying. Lake Stevens players had given up a shutout for something far more important. Snohomish coaches and players had taken the final step in making Ike "one of the guys" with the team.


    With all the scandals in sports at all levels, it's nice to come across a story that affirms what games are supposed to teach - character, sportsmanship, team spirit, and self-confidence. Ike and his big brothers can talk football like never before for the rest of their lives now. The guys on the field that wonderful night can talk forever about the biggest play in their high school careers.


    If you missed it, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb_4f5nXZdA. It's a highlight play you don't want to miss.
    Thank you so much for the repeat of this story -- I had not seen it before -

    Yesterday was a sad day. It was the birthday of my eldest daughter who passed away a few years ago from a motorcycle accident.
    But today is a day of joy! My DH and I were married 57 years ago today. We have had our moments of sorrow and pain, but they have been greatly outweighed by our many moments of joy.
    And, you know, after all these years, my DH still does not understand quilters. When I had given all our kids, grandkids and greats a quilt (that totaled 26 quilts), he actually expected me to stop making quilts. Silly man!!!!

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