Tuesdays with Travis: An Uncommon Team Effort

Nov 12, 2013

In a time when so much of the focus in sports is on winning, when professional athletes are in the news for bullying one another, one football team made the uncommon choice to reach out and put others first.

A couple weeks ago, a middle school football team in Olivet, Michigan, did something for one of their teammates that not only embodies everything it means to be a good teammate, but everything it means to be a good person.

Keith Orr is a middle school student in Olivet, Michigan, who was born with a learning disability. Students with disabilities are commonly ignored, alienated, or even made fun of by their peers. Keith, however, has a different story.

One year, Keith decided he wanted to play football, so his parents signed him up to play for the Olivet Eagles. Immediately, the team took a liking to him and Keith made a ton of new friends. One day, the team decided that they wanted to do something special for him so they actually went behind their coaches’ backs and designed a play just for him.

In one of their games, the running back broke free and looked like he was going to score easily but stopped and took a knee at the one yard line. The coaches were confused and a little angry until they saw what happened next.

The team brought in Keith and lined up in a new formation. If you look at the video, you can see that there are multiple teammates surrounding him as a protective barrier. Upon the snap, the quarterback handed Keith the ball and all 10 of his teammates pushed their way in so Keith could score untouched. All of the coaches and even Keith’s parents stood there amazed as Keith celebrated with his teammates.

He could only describe it in one word, “Awesome!” One thing Keith’s parents took away from everything was that they felt “Someone was always going to have his back. From now until the day he graduates.”

Check out this short video that tells the whole story:

Keith’s friends were great teammates for him that day, can you think of a time when you or someone else was a good teammate? Is there an example of one of your kids doing something like this? Please share your experiences with us below in the comments section.