Max Ringwall and his eighth grade football team, the Eisenhower Generals, may have been losing by 20 points, but what the teen did for an opponent with Down syndrome was bigger than any win ever could be.
In the closing minutes of a 28-8 game in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, Jack Haney was substituted onto the field. Haney has Down syndrome and is in his first season playing football.
Realizing that Haney rarely gets to play, Ringwall caught a pass and let Haney record his first ever tackle in a football game.
“Jack doesn’t get to play very often but is always excited and ready to go when Coach Pilachowski calls his number,” Oconomowoc Youth Football wrote in a Facebook post. “In this play, the Generals completed a pass to #7 Max Ringwall. COMPLETELY ON HIS OWN, Max stops running after he makes a catch and heads down the sidelines and points to Jack who comes over and makes his first ever tackle in a football game. This was not planned and Max sacrificed a big play for himself to make a huge play for someone else.
“Just when you have heard all the horror stories about youth sports and sacrificing everything to win games, you see this and remember the REAL reason we do it. It’s to lift each other up and be there for each other.”
After the tackle, Haney’s teammates rushed toward him for high-fives, and then they ran over to Ringwall for the same kind of celebration.
Here’s the play that deserves a standing ovation from both sides of the stadium.
It’s nice to see when sportsmanship is alive and well in ultra competitive youth sports. When kids play for something bigger than a mark in the “win column,” everyone benefits.
Congrats to Jack Haney for “laying the wood,” and coming up big in the final minutes of a game.