Fast here from the BIG Morning Show. This story is personal for me and I hope you watch the video and feel as good as I do when it’s done.
I met Chase Cottam a few years ago. His Mom and Dad are friends of mine, and the three of them were on a cruise with me. It was the first opportunity I had to get to know Chase. He was much younger and more introverted then. Somehow, through his struggles to deal with all of the sensory issues that come along with being on a cruise, I think Chase had a great time. And he stole my heart along the way. You see, Chase has special needs. He is on the spectrum. What is loud to us can be deafening to him. Anxiety is a part of his life.
This year, Chase decided to join the Cathedral-Carmel Middle School football team. This was a huge step for the Cottam family. Talk about stepping out of his comfort zone! The coaches welcomed him into the family and have worked hard to help him. His teammates are supportive and encouraging. This could really be the entire story. But it isn’t.
This week, Cathedral played New Iberia Middle. Before the game, the Cathedral coaches talked to the New Iberia coaches about Chase. They planned to put Chase in the game and wanted to make sure he was protected. Not only were the opposing coaches understanding, but what happened next is a sign that sportsmanship is still alive and well. When Chase entered the game, everyone was aware. He plays on the offensive line. He doesn’t get the ball. He blocks. At least that was the plan. But the New Iberia coaches and players wanted more. As you see in the video, everyone involved created a moment that Chase will never forget:
Congratulations to everyone involved in this display of all that is good in life. Thank you to the coaches that have embraced a young man that just wants to have an opportunity. And a special salute to the coaches and players in New Iberia. The lessons learned by Chase’s teammates and opponents are worth a whole lot more than 6 points.