When Artie rolled onto the football field in his wheelchair on Glee this month, it may have raised a few eyebrows. But that's TV for you, right?
It wasn't small screen silliness for Dylan Galloway, a teen with cerebral palsy who is now the hero of the football team in Manila, Arkansas. Galloway didn't just join the gridiron gang. He scored a touchdown, driving his electric wheelchair right into the end zone.
Ah, kids these days. They rock.
According to Galloway's hometown paper, The Town Crier, he usually acts as Manila's water boy. But with two games left in the season, Coach Toby Doke created a scheme to give the senior a big game. He called Kelly Chandler, coach of the opposing team, the Rivercrest Colts, ahead of time and cleared the touchdown with him.
Like the story of Ike Ditzenberger, the Seattle area teen with Down Syndrome who scored a touchdown for his high school team last fall, the Galloway video showcases the kind of coach America needs to employ at every high school in America. He gets that winning isn't everything.
According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, participation in high school sports increased for the 21st consecutive school year in 2009-10, eclipsing the 7.6 million mark for the first time. Which makes these kinds of coaches more important than ever.
The chief success of high school sports isn't in creating premier athletes (leverage the number of professional players against the number of American kids -- the numbers of kids playing school sports and moving ahead with them are slim). It's in helping the kids develop social skills -- discipline, teamwork, etc.
If only we could have Coach Toby Doke or Glee's Coach Beiste at every school.
Image via Fox