Opposing coach gives seven-year-old with special needs chance to score his first touchdown


PALERMO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A “tiny mite” football player in Mexico scored his first ever touchdown last Saturday, but it wasn’t his coach that called the play.

Brantley Watson, age seven, loves to play football, be outside and is a big fan of Batman and The Avengers. He’s a lot like most kids his age. Brantley has cognitive delays, which is a disability, but that doesn’t stop him from having fun and enjoying football.

On Saturday, Brantley suited up for a game against Cicero. Before each game, Brantley’s coach lets the opposing team know about his disability and makes sure he’s put in the right spot to be safe and have fun.

Cicero Falcons Tiny Mite Coach Tom Widger chose to put Brantley right in the action.

“He asked us for the last play of the game if we wanted to have Brantley run the ball,” said Mexico Tiny Mite Coach Aaron Shaffer. “I was actually taken aback and a little choked up a bit. Then, I went and grabbed Brantley.”

Brantley’s mom, Joelle LaRock , was on the sideline as she often is. She had no idea her son was going to get the ball.

“I was blown away,” she said as her son jogged out on the field.

Brantley got the ball and from there, his teammates helped lead the way. After some help getting his footing, Brantley found his way into the endzone. Then he went and found his mom.

“It makes me cry every time I watch it and watching him run into my arms and to see how happy and excited he was,” said LaRock. “You just don’t see that as much nowadays as you should.”

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