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Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Football play inspires more than players

By By the Advocate Editorial Board
Nov. 3, 2012 at 6:03 a.m.


We love hearing and reading about inspiring stories from the Crossroads. Even in the midst of political controversy and tough times, we are amazed at the joy and love that can be found in area communities.

This was the case with the story of Zach Oracion, a 14-year-old student at Cade Middle School. Zach is cognitively challenged, which means his mental abilities are equal to those of a kindergartner. But Zach is still attending a public middle school and even takes part in extracurricular activities as the water boy for the school football team.

But what Zach does with the team is much more than bring the players some water between plays. According to Cade players, he encourages the team and is always there telling players they are doing a good job. He has been helping the Cade football team since sixth grade, and in his eighth-grade year, he has finally been given a chance to play with the rest of the team.

We applaud the coaches and players of the Cade football team for the love and support they showed for Zach by holding a half-time play during the game against Stroman Middle School to let him play as a member of the team. By giving Zach this chance to live his dream of playing football, the team and coaches are showing how important he is and how much they value having him as a member of their team.

But most of all, we were impressed by Zach himself. Zach lives with a condition that many see as holding him back, but he is described as constantly encouraging others and looking at life in a positive way. Zach's way of appreciating the little things that happen is wonderful, and we hope others were inspired by his story.

This story highlights to us how incredible so many people with special needs are. They live with what other people consider to be severe limitations, yet many of them live happy, positive lives every day and share their good attitudes and unquestioning love with everyone they meet. Rather than pity them, as so many people do, we admire them for that boundless joy they live with and share every day. And we hope to accomplish that kind of hope and love in every day of our lives as well.

So we applaud Zach for his dedication to the Cade football team, as well as the positive attitude he shares every day. We are glad he got his chance to play football and look forward to hearing more good things about him in the future.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.

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