Sepp Shirey is a high school senior who was born with cerebral palsy. There’s only been one thing in Sepp’s life that has pushed him to do anything: football.
One day when he was much younger, Sepp’s dad was called outside to see what his son was doing. The little boy had ditched his walker and was walking around chasing a neighborhood friend who was carrying a football in their front yard.
Despite his disability, Sepp’s dad encouraged him to play football.
When Sepp got older, he joined his high school football team and was even on the field for a few plays. But one play changed Sepp’s life – and an entire community – forever.
By now you’ve probably seen the video of Hanover County Public Schools' Sepp Shirey, a student at Atlee High School who…
During Sepp’s final home game at Atlee High School in Virginia, his coach decided to put him in late in the game with a simple plan: Sepp was to take a handoff and carry the ball a few yards before getting “tackled” by a two-hand touch from the opposing team, Varina High.
Everything was going the way the coach envisioned it until a Varina linebacker decided to call an audible and change the lives of hundreds of people that night.
“I looked in his eyes when he was running,” Taesean Crutchfield said. “I looked at him, I was clapping him on. I just wanted him to score because I knew it would be a good feeling for him.”
Crutchfield told his teammates to let Sepp go as far as he could and Varina did, with Crutchfield leading the cheering. Both Atlee and Varina players continued to clap and encourage Seppo every step of the way – all 80 yards of it!
Watch Sepp’s – And The Rest Of The Players’ – Shining Moment!
Coaches from both schools say there wasn’t a dry eye in the stadium that night. Crutchfield showed unbelievable compassion and sportsmanship, saying afterward:
“I was like, ‘Dang! Is this really going on? I could feel it inside. I don’t know why, but I loved him as a person because he’s got more heart than anybody.”
There probably aren’t many people who would disagree.