What This Middle School Football Team Did To Support Their Disabled Waterboy Might Make You Weepy

It’s Friday. Want to start sobbing uncontrollably?

One of the great things about my generation being a bunch of worthless, self-obsessed sad-sacks is that if the next generation wants to rebel, they’ll have to be smart and compassionate. We’ve already seen examples of kids touching wisdom well beyond their years in the sports world, like the Oklahoma boy who wanted to run in a 5K with his disabled brother (and did) and the Michigan middle school that put together a secret play against their coaches’ wishes to honor a teammate. It’s happening.

The latest example is an inspiring story out of Massachusetts, where the Williams Intermediate School football team dressed up like their waterboy, a kindergartner suffering from CAS, to show him how much they love him.

Danny Keefe suffered a brain hemorrhage just after he was born causing childhood apraxia of speech. That’s enough in itself for cruel kids to make him feel bad about himself, but he also (by his own choosing) wears a suit and tie to school every day. He wears it when he’s on the sidelines for the team, like a baby Tom Landry. The team got tired of seeing this awesome little kid get treated the way he does every day, so they banded together to emulate him, and the results are the kind of thing that’ll make your heart warm all weekend.


Danny’s father, Mark Keefe, an assistant coach for the Badgers, said the head coach and older boys have taken Danny under their wing in a remarkable way. They let him run out onto the field with them and include him in all their activities.

“He feels so loved and protected,” Danny’s mother, Jennifer Keefe, said.

Jimmy Peterson, 11, put it this way: “The coach calls us a band of brothers. He’s one of us.”

He really is.