When Danny had a stroke 10 years ago at the age of 2, many things raced through my mind. Many serious things. Then, the sports question came to mind. Would he, could he, will he play sports?
Well, Danny has played MANY sports over the years. He started organized sports at the age of 5 and has never stopped. Baseball, basketball, football (flag and tackle), tennis, ping pong, bowling, soccer, and probably some I'm forgetting. He started playing on local parks and rec teams. He is always average to above average for ability.
Danny has use of only one hand and wears a leg brace. He runs with a slight limp and is pretty fast, considering. Danny's right hand is not strong enough to be a helper, he uses one hand for everything. He played on a very competitive football team for 4 years. He played 2nd string defensive end. His highlights include a recovered fumble and a QB sack. His coaches and teammates love him.
The time came. He is now in 7th grade. The program in this school...in this district... is fierce, large, strong and competitive. He has never had to "try out" for a team before. As these kids get older, they get really good. The days of everyone is on the team and everyone plays are over. Would he make it? Is he good enough? About 60 boys tried out for 35 spots. We encouraged him. We cheered him on. We told him there is no shame in being cut...if that happens. Plan B would be to practice tennis (which he is very good at as well).
Team selection day came and Danny is on the TEAM!! He proudly wears his jersey to school on game days and works hard in practice (overcoming sore feet and blisters from his AFO). He appears to be on 2nd string defense again and we are thrilled. For anyone wondering about sports for their kids, we suggest to let them do whatever they want to do. Anything is possible. Many people question our decision to let our son play tackle football. I question it too sometimes, but I cannot bring myself to tell him no. And the smile on his face when he is on that field lights up the world. ~ Danny's Mom