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8-year-old boy with Down syndrome defies odds with love for football



TOPEKA, Kan. – Passion and love for a sport can take you a long way, and for one 8-year-old boy with Down Syndrome, it led him to the endzone.

Keithen Morse and his family decided to take a risk this season and sign up for football. His team welcomed him with open arms.

“When he sees me he’ll come around and give me a big hug and almost knock me down because he’s so excited,” said Justin Heim, head coach of the St. Marys Junior Bears. “It’s just incredible. I go home with a huge smile on my face and feel like I’m really making a difference.”

He plays alongside his best friend, who is also the coach’s son; they’ve been buddies since preschool.

This year, Keithen was named 2020 rookie of the year for his team and on top of that, he got the last touchdown of the championship game.