One of the best things about sports is when “the one who wasn’t supposed to make it,” such as a special-needs athlete, does something amazing.
Well, something amazing happened last week in a freshman football game in Arizona.
This wasn’t just a feel-good moment, either, as it was “all earned” by the participant.
Adonis Watt is a blind football player for Brophy Prep in Phoenix, and he ran for two touchdowns against a live defense in a Sept. 12 game vs. Mountain View of Mesa.
— azcentral (@azcentral) September 19, 2018
The touchdowns were from the 1- and 3-yard lines, and this wasn’t the case of Mountain View parting the Red Sea and allowing Watt to waltz into the end zone.
The Toros weren’t even aware that Watt is blind, and they put in an effort just as they would against any other running back.
Watt had scored earlier this season on a 45-yard run, but that was when the opposing team realized he was blind and allowed him to score.
There were no such freebies this time around, and Brophy Prep’s coach, Scott Heideman, summed it up in two words:
“ALL EARNED!!” he wrote in an email to the Arizona Republic.
After the big day, Watt took a cue from the saying, “Act like you’ve been there before.”
“Adonis, in his typical tone, ‘Felt good,’ like no big deal,” Heideman said when asked how the young man felt afterward. “He makes me forget every day that he can’t see.”
Watt’s mother, Veronica Watt, said her son wants to be treated just like anyone else on the football field.
“He would prefer them tackling him,” she told the Republic.
Watt is just a freshman, but there is precedent for blind football players playing varsity football and then progressing to the college level.
Jake Olson lost his sight when he was 12 years old, but that didn’t stop his dream of playing at NCAA football. Olson was a long snapper in high school, joined USC as a walk-on and received his first game action in 2017.
USC's Jake Olson won Saturday and it's not even close. pic.twitter.com/jPnYjDMs6D
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 3, 2017
Olson won USC’s Most Inspirational Player award last season and is currently the backup long snapper for the Trojans.
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