Everyday Heroes

High School Football Team Manager With Down Syndrome Scores TD, Mom With Terminal Illness Watches

Three cheers for Robby Heil!

With the all craziness happening in the world today, good news is always welcome. And such is the case with this story about a high school football team that helped their “hydration manager” live out his dream.

Robby Heil, a senior at Novi High School in Michigan, has been the football team’s water boy since he was a freshman. But last Friday night, the team gave Heil, who has Down syndrome, the chance to do more than deliver water.

During the second quarter, both teams took a break in order to let Heil join in the game. Just as they had practiced, there was a hand-off to Heil, who then made a run down the field—and touchdown!

WXYZ/Scripps Media

“This is something that we thought we could do to bring joy [and] hopefully some outstanding memories,” Head Coach of the Wildcats, Jeff Burnside, told WXYZ.

 

The team certainly did create outstanding memories that night. Not only for Heil, but also for his mother, Debbie, who is terminally ill with bone cancer. Luckily, she was able to watch her son’s TD from the sidelines.

“I dropped to the ground because I was so emotional when I saw him make a touchdown,” Debbie said.

She has always been proud of Robby for being on the team as the hydration manager, a name the team thought was cooler than just “water boy.” Debbie thought everything about the night was amazing.

“It was incredible, he’s Rudy tonight,” she said. This was a night no one will soon forget, especially Robby.

Touchdown! For the Wildcats, Robby, his mother and for small acts of kindness everywhere.

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