The Most Touching Touchdown of All Time
“You mean a lot to this team, I’m serious you’re a big part of this,” Michigan’s Novi High School senior Anthony D’annibale told his classmate and teammate, Robby Heil, as they walked onto the football field in their Wildcats uniforms last Friday night.
Robby Heil has Down syndrome, and for the last four years he’s fueled his passion for football by fueling the other players as the Wildcats’ water boy, or, as they like to refer to his position, hydration manager. As it turned out, this Wildcats game was going to be unlike any that Robby had ever helped the team with before.
For the first time that night, Robby would be taking to the field not as the hydration manager, but as a player on the team. To Robby’s mother, who watched from the sidelines and is suffering from advanced-stage cancer, this moment meant the world.
Keep Reading to see Robby reach make the goal of his dreams!
Player No. 24
Earlier this year, members of the Wildcats football team found out that one of their most valuable teammates, Robby Heil, had a mother at home who was battling advanced-stage cancer. To show support for their friend and to give Debbie Heil a chance to see her son soar, the team got to work on an intricate plan to have Robby play in his first game on Friday night.
When Robby, No. 24, stepped onto the field, Debbie Heil could hardly contain her emotions. In the middle of the game, both teams paused and the No. 24 ran the ball all the way to the end zone.
The Proudest Mother in the World
“I dropped to the ground because I was so emotional when I saw him make that touchdown,” Debbie said in an interview after the game. “I’ve always been proud of him being the water boy, or as people call him the hydration manager, but this was incredible, he’s Rudy tonight, he’s Rudy.”