Dream Team

ImageFor years, I’ve watched our friends pack up their cars on Saturday mornings…cleats, helmets, jerseys…and head to the fields for their child’s baseball, tennis, football & soccer games.  I’ve watched and I’ve wondered if Beau would ever get the chance to be a part of this Saturday morning ritual — to practice, wear a jersey and maybe even score a touchdown.  This Saturday morning, on a football field, surrounded by a very special group of young men, Beau experienced all of this and more.  For the first time in his life, he was part of a team.  He was a Challenger!

Watching and playing football has always been a family favorite.   On Colt’s game days, you’ll find us in our jerseys hunkered down in front of the television with a huge bowl of popcorn.   Even our daughters enjoy practicing plays in the driveway with their Dad and Beau.  So when we learned that the local football league was starting a special needs team, you can imagine how excited we were.  This morning, it was our turn to pack up the car and head to the field to be a part of a team.

When we arrived at the field early this morning, we were happy to see some of Beau’s buddies from school.  A few boys, but sadly, not enough players to form one team, let alone two.  And then, like a scene out of “Field of Dreams” our local high school football team, the Hoggard Vikings, took to the field alongside our special little boys.  Dressed in their practice jerseys, the Vikings towered over our little guys, but that didn’t stop Beau from grabbing the football and charging into the end zone for a touch down.  Game on!  For the next hour, I witnessed sportsmanship at its very best –a group of young men and their coach that had volunteered their time and talents to make a difference in the life of my son and his buddies. 

When the practice ended, my husband, Ben, shared his heart-felt thanks with the team.  As tears welled up in his eyes, he thanked them for sharing their Saturday morning with us, but more importantly, he thanked them for showing Beau & his buddies respect. 

We’re already looking forward to next Saturday’s game and who knows, maybe, someday, we’ll be cheering for Beau under Friday night lights.  After what I witnessed today, I would be proud to one day call my son a Hoggard Viking.



19 responses

  1. I must say I am very proud of the Hoggard football team this display on compassion, but I am 100 million percent NOT SURPRISED by this large act of love and kindness. All of the members of the Hoggard football team and really all sports display acts like this often. Very proud to say both my sons and myself are Hoggard Viking alumni, years 2012, 2006 and 1986. GO VIKES !!

  2. Hoggard would be honored if Beau’s teammates and their families would join us at our home game this Friday. We’ll provide them with sideline passes and tours of the Field House, weight-training facility, and press box. Please email me at eric.pfirman@nhcs.net and I’ll make all the arrangements.

    I can’t wait to meet these remarkable youngsters!

    Eric Pfirman

  3. I love seeing how your family mission is expanding to bless everyone- way beyond those with intellectual disabilities. I guess that is the point- we all have so much to learn from each other, if only given the chance. Love you all so much.

  4. What an amazing and “feel good” story. My daughter graduated this June from Hoggard (Cheerleader) and I currently have a son on the soccer and track team. I can agree that the coaching staff at Hoggard is the best you will find. I want to say how impressed I am to see the young men spend time with the younger boys on a Saturday. They will all have memories of this special time forever. Proud to be a Viking!

  5. Hi Amy! What a wonderful experience for Beau and the Hoggard football team! I know that will be a day that will long be remembered by all! I created a “group” page for Hoggard sports photos on FB. Would it be OK to share your photo on it? I look forward to seeing Beau at the football game Friday night!

  6. Amy and Principal Eric Phirman,

    I have been a Hoggard football season ticket holder for more than 10+ years now (since the blue seats were installed). I have 6 amazing seats (all together) that I would be happy to donate to Beau’s parents, family or for Beau’s friends parents that might be attending the game. I think it would be just as much a thrill for Beau and his buds to see their parents in the Viking Club seats cheering for them as it will be for the parents to see their sons on the field under the Friday Night Lights!! This will make it very easy for the “new Viking football players” to find their parents up in the stands!! I can tell you that’s what my 2 sons always told us that could always look up in the same spot each week and know we were there cheering them and the team on.

    Eric, please feel free to call or email me if any of the parents would like to use the 6 Viking Club seats. Oh I almost forgot each seat comes with a reserved parking lot pass too. The seats are 61, 62, 63, 64 on the end of the row, then also on the end of the next row in front seats 87 and 88

    I’d be honored to share for this special game!!

    Troy Vasos


  7. Hi Beau and Family!
    I am so proud of Beau! He has grown so much since he was in my kindergarten class! Be sure to say hi to Mr. Jupena when you visit the press box Friday night. He announces the games. I will be at the game too, so I can’t wait to see all of you! 🙂 What a wonderful night it will be!
    Mrs. Jupena

  8. As another parent of a child with special needs, seeing these Hoggard boys go out of their way to treat our kids with kindness gives me hope for the future and makes me feel I have less to fear when my little guy gets older. Now how do we get more kids to be this way?!

  9. What an awesome story! I graduated from Hoggard in 2008 and will be graduating from East Carolina this May with my degree in Special Education. This story warms my heart and I am so excited that my old stompin’ ground’s football team is filled with such wonderful young boys! On my weekends home, I would love to come help and be a part of this wonderful mission. You all are awesome!

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