When it comes to cheering on athletes, Maddie Crosetto is Oak Forest High School’s (Illinois) ultimate supporter, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The teen who has Down syndrome is the team manager for the girls softball program and, when not handling her responsibilities there, she can be seen in the stands enthusiastically rooting for other Oak Forest High School teams.
That’s why more than a dozen girls softball and boys basketball players from the Chicago-area school piled into the bleachers on May 24 for Crosetto’s softball game with the Challenger League, which features an adaptive softball program for those with physical and intellectual challenges.
The group of students wanted to take their turn being Crosetto’s biggest fan. However, when the opposing team didn’t show up due to confusion with the schedule, Crosetto’s supporters stepped up, and took the field themselves so that the Challengers could still play.
The result? A 22-14 Challengers victory, but beyond that, a wonderful time for all involved.
“It was awesome for me to see these guys get that opportunity to show their support. It was something that I think not a lot of kids or high schoolers would go out of their way to do,” said Oak Forest’s softball coach Caitlin McMahon. “To see these kids not even bat an eye about going out there to play. It was like watching the Globetrotters out there, they were tossing the ball up in the air and having fun.”
Keep an eye out for some familiar faces on @nbcchicago tonight between 4pm – 6pm. Oak Forest High School’s girls softball student manager, Maddie Crosetto and her group of friends want to tell you about a special softball game they played with one another. ⚾🎥 pic.twitter.com/KoVjU3PKkt
— Oak Forest High School (@ExperienceOFHS) July 17, 2018
According to McMahon, Crosetto doesn’t miss practices or games thanks to friends who pick her up. And, to get the girls motivated, Crosetto is very vocal with her favorite motto being, “Less talking, more walking.’”
As for that day in May when she was the one in the batter’s box and rounding the bases right beside her friends, it doesn’t get more special than that.
“No one’s going to remember your accomplishments but they’ll always remember what kind of person you were,” said recent Oak Forest graduate Sandy Fiorczyk, who participated in the game.
And that’s wisdom gained outside of the classroom.