This managed to fly under our radar when it happened late last month, but it’s one of those stories you don’t want to miss.
In an awesome moment of kind-hearted sportsmanship and clandestine, middle-school planning, the members of the Olivet Middle School football team shared a life-changing moment when they secretly took a dive at the 1-yard line to set up a touchdown run for teammate Keith Orr. Keith has a learning disability and “struggles with boundaries,” so the team simply surrounded him like a phalanx of Spartans and drove him into the end zone.
The play and the moment are inspiring, but their ramifications are what make them truly special:
We’ve featured several instances of kids using sports to participate in something bigger than themselves — the Georgia high schooler who competed against an opponent with Down Syndrome, the Oklahoma boy who wanted to run a 5K with his disabled brother and the TD-running waterboy with Down Syndrome among them — but few moments have made such a powerful, emotional change as this touchdown did on Olivet’s QB, Justice Miller.
His words are perhaps the most honest and touching part of the story.
Asked why it affected him so much, Justice turns emotional.
“Because he’s never been cool or popular, and he went from being, like, pretty much a nobody to making everyone’s day,” he says.
Justice admits the play wasn’t his idea, saying, “I would have not really thought of that.”
He says it never crossed his mind to give Keith any glory.
“I kind of went from being somebody who mostly cared about myself and my friends to caring about everyone and trying to make everyone’s day and everyone’s life,” he says.
You’re doing it right, Justice.