A chance at gridiron glory at South Christian’s Victory Day

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KENTWOOD, Mich.,-- Football season is well underway, but not everyone has an opportunity to play under those Friday night lights.
One West Michigan family is giving some the chance to play football with local high school teams.

Saturday afternoon, those who might not usually be able to take part of America's past-time were able to lead the crowds in a cheer or even score a touchdown of their own.

South Christian High School held their 4th annual Victory Day Saturday afternoon, giving those with special needs a chance to tackle their dreams.

High school football players and cheerleaders were paired up with a participant for the day to help them score a touchdown or cheer on the sidelines.

Victory Day started back in 2010 on the east side of the state, and thanks to the Tamminga family, five universities and 38 high schools around the nation are now giving those with special needs their very own chance to play.

There were 51 participants at South Christian's Victory Day Saturday, ranging from age 3 to 55.

Participants were given the opportunity to run or catch a pass for a touchdown with play-by-play announcing, all while the high school band played.

"Well, it’s an amazing feeling to see them cross the end zone, it's a great joy seeing them have fun out there," said Jake Niewiek, who plays on South Christian's Varsity team.

Not only is Victory Day a special day for the participants, it's a special day for South Christian's JV and Varsity players too.

"We just love seeing everybody so happy, I mean heck, nobody can stop smiling. It's a great day, we can help the community, it's a beautiful day," said Joe Vandelpol, a Varsity player at South Christian High.

Both Coopersville and Unity Christian put on their own Victory Day too.

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1 Comment

  • Ben DeVries

    Such a pleasure to play in the South Christian Band. This is a great event for people with special needs all across the community. It doesn’t matter if you play football or not; I had a great time seeing the smiles on their faces they scored a touchdown followed by a popular pep tune. It is an honor to be a part of this awesome community.

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