VIDEO: Team helps 8-year-old with Down syndrome score touchdown - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

VIDEO: Team helps 8-year-old with Down syndrome score touchdown

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Sammy Grugan, 8, was protected by his teammates Saturday as he took the ball to the end zone. Sammy Grugan, 8, was protected by his teammates Saturday as he took the ball to the end zone.
CANTON, Ga. -

There wasn't a dry eye in the house on Saturday when a group of youth football players from Canton did something special for their 8-year-old teammate. 

Every Saturday, young lives are molded on countless fields across Georgia.  To some it's just a game, but the kids who play are learning lessons about leadership, teamwork and heart—right in front of their parents' eyes.  

"Having your son in a football uniform is every father's dream," said Matt Grugan.  

Grugan's son Sammy, an 8-year-old student at Avery Elementary, has Down syndrome.  What truly makes Sammy special is how he makes other people feel.

"Pure joy" said David Guy, who is Sammy's football coach.  "He's the happiest kid.  He makes you smile.  He's just pure."

"One of the brightest stars you will ever meet," said Sammy's dad.  "Just in terms of light, his radiance-- he shines. He's just a pleasure, a pleasure to know."

That light is why the 6 and 7-year-olds on the Creekview Grizzlies team asked Sammy to be their manager this season.  On Saturday, they had something even more special planned for Sammy.  

With an assist from the other team at the end of the first half, Sammy not only got to play—he got to carry the ball into the end zone.  

"When you put a helmet on Sammy, you couldn't tell the difference between him and any other kid," said Coach Guy.  "And they treated him that way."

His parents, naturally, were overjoyed.  

"With Sam it's been a little different," said his dad.  "You knew these opportunities would never happen. So to have that opportunity, it's beyond words."

"What every parent wants is for their child to be included and accepted by their peers, and for him to be involved with the team this way, is amazing," said his mom.

Sammy's big touchdown happened on what was also the first Saturday of Down syndrome awareness month.  Sammy's mom says it's important to accept and include people with special needs.

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