Jake Pratt, a high school senior with Down syndrome, had the opportunity to live out his varsity football dream when he ran for 35 yards, scoring a touchdown, during his very first play on the field. The heartwarming moment was captured on video by Jake’s sister, Amy Hyde, including Jake being swarmed by his teammates as they celebrated their win.
As reported by Fox News, Jake attended Vestavia Hills high school in Alabama. The school was playing Briarwood Christian School when Jake had the opportunity to receive the ball and score a touchdown.
Kathy Pratt, the mother of the 18-year-old student, said during an interview, “[Jake] was so happy.” She went on to say, “Jake will remember this all of his life. It will be a life-changing experience.”
The players on each team were made aware of the play in advance, showing how both schools were willing to work together to help Jake experience this dream come true.
Jake had attended every workout and weightlifting session with the Vestavia Hills high school team during the summer, and his parents requested that he be able to dress for the game after spending multiple seasons as the manager.
“The kids have the utmost respect for him for being there every day,” said Rebels’ head coach, Buddy Anderson. “He’s there every day and works hard every day.”
Amy posted the video on Twitter and received responses from A.J. McCarron, quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Atlanta Falcons.
My brother, Jake, is 18 & a senior at Vestavia. He also happens to have Down Syndrome. Tonight 2 teams helped to make his dream come true! pic.twitter.com/uLoP3KH8KR
— Amy Hyde (@Amy_Lissa) August 26, 2017