Special needs student in Utah scores touchdown


A special needs student in Utah got to live an athletic dream on Thursday night, scoring a touchdown on the second-half kickoff for his high school football team.

>> Read more trending stories

Brian Herrera attends Cottonwood High School in Murray, located in suburban Salt Lake City. He is a special needs student and has known senior Alex Hart since the pair attended junior high school.

"I'd say, 'What's up dude?' and I'd fist bump him," Hart told KSTU.

Hart and Herrera reconnected in high school and the two friends would have lunch together. They found a special connection through football. Hart is an offensive lineman for the Cottonwood Colts varsity football team.

"Every time I come off the field, I'd come off and he'd give me a hug," Hart told KSTU.

Hart went to Kailee Sandberg, Herrera’s special needs teacher, and asked if Brian could join a football class and roam the sidelines during games.

"He seems to be doing better socially, his speech is coming along better, he just is all around a happier kid, which I didn't think he could get any happier but he did," Sandberg told KSTU.

Thursday night, Cottonwood (1-9) played neighboring Taylorsville (3-6). The Warriors agreed to cooperate with the Colts, and leading 35-7 at the intermission, kicked the ball to Herrera to open the second half. Hart, who had been injured, came into the game for the one play and helped create a convoy for Herrera to score.

"He's just been my biggest fan, and I've been his biggest fan," Hart told KSTU.

It didn't matter that Cottonwood lost 49-14. The real winners were Hart, Herrera, and both squads.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in High School Sports

Familiar assistant Fenner promoted to head football coach at LBJ
Familiar assistant Fenner promoted to head football coach at LBJ

LBJ didn’t have to look far to find its next varsity football coach. As expected, Jahmal Fenner was hired Wednesday to replace Andrew Jackson, who died Dec. 12 after battling esophageal cancer. Fenner spent much of this past season helping to lead the Jaguars while Jackson underwent treatment. The Jaguars’ offensive coordinator when the...
In coach’s inaugural season, Cedar Park girls team achieves firsts
In coach’s inaugural season, Cedar Park girls team achieves firsts

Donny Ott didn’t realize how close his players had become until he discovered 16 girls lying on two hotel beds after an early season tournament game in Burleson. The Cedar Park girls basketball team and Ott’s 4-year-old daughter, Sienna, were relaxing and eating pizza while watching a movie. Eight girls on one bed, eight on the other. &ldquo...
Allonzo Trier’s absence noticeable in OT win at Oregon State; What we learned about Arizona
Allonzo Trier’s absence noticeable in OT win at Oregon State; What we learned about Arizona

Hours after suffering a huge loss, one that may kill any chance of making a deep NCAA tournament run, Arizona pulled out one of its most improbable victories of the season in winning 75-65 at Oregon State. The Wildcats announced Thursday afternoon that junior guard Allonzo Trier, their second-leading scorer, had been declared...
Utah wins fifth in a row over UCLA, Pac-12 bubble intensifies
Utah wins fifth in a row over UCLA, Pac-12 bubble intensifies

Welcome to the Reid Travis show: 3 things we learned from Stanford’s win over Washington
Welcome to the Reid Travis show: 3 things we learned from Stanford’s win over Washington

More Stories