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Dream Come True: Teen With Down Syndrome Joins Football Team To Play In State Championship

A teen with Down syndrome playing football.

A young man with Down syndrome wasn’t about to let it stand in the way of his football dreams. Blaze Mayes inspired us all when he finally took the field with his high school team. He would have been happy just to play the game, but he actually got to participate in the state championship. Imagine how incredible that moment must have been for him!

MLFootball shared this beautiful story on social media. They also included a clip of the boy with Down syndrome running across the football field during the game. His number was 99. This experience clearly meant the world to the young man, who was jumping up and down with excitement at the end of the clip. Just as heartwarming was how his teammates matched his enthusiasm.

“AWESOME: Blaze Mayes was born with Down Syndrome and all he wanted was to suit up for his high school football team,” wrote MLFootball in their caption. “He finally got to play, in the state championship no less.”

According to Sports Illustrated, Blaze Mayes was a junior when he played for Aledo High School in the Texas state championship in 2018. His team won 55–19 against Fort Bend Marshall. Two years later, student news website The Cat’s Eye reported that a statue had been created to honor him. It was placed outside the doors to the locker rooms.

Shirley Scarpetta, the artist who made the bronze statue, shared a beautiful video of its unveiling on Instagram.

“This was the unveiling of Blaze Mayes #99 for ALEDO High School,” she wrote in her caption. “He was the first young man with Down Syndrome to play in a national championship game. The townspeople decided to commemorate him and gift to the school the monument of one of the best people to bring such joy to their community.”

She added, “This was such a big honor! I love looking back at these very special moments!”

We hope that this statue, as well as Blaze’s incredible story, continues to inspire young athletes for years to come!

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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