Student With Down Syndrome Presented Team Ring as Honorary Member of Soccer Team
Chandler Herrero, 18, is "truly a member of the team," according to the coach.
This Alabama student with Down syndrome is technically not on the roster, but his high school's soccer team sure made him feel like one of the guys when they surprised him with a championship ring.
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Chandler Herrero, 18, has been the unofficial team manager for Oak Mountain High School's soccer team for two years in a row.
Some of his duties include helping to set up practices, attending all the games and cheering up the team when the pressure is on.
"I'm the coach — sometimes I get a little angry at the guys, so it's fun to have him chime in and ease the tension," Coach Dan DeMasters told InsideEdition.com.
But, DeMasters said Herrero has truly proven himself as a member of the team, so, as a "thank you" for supporting their successes in the past two years, Oak Mountain's soccer team decided to surprise him with a championship ring — something only playing members of the team are allowed to order.
"He's truly a member of the team," DeMasters said. "The guys love him, he loves the guys. It's cool to give a guy like Chandler the opportunity."
After the soccer team was presented with their championship rings Friday, DeMasters said he decided to hold off until Monday to present Chandler with his own ring.
In a video posted by AL.com, DeMasters can be seen leading Herrero to the front of his classroom, as he was surrounded by other members of the team.
"You saw some of us with this ring right?" The coach can be heard saying in the video. "Guess who else gets a ring?"
Before Herrero could react, a member of his team slipped the ring on his finger.
Immediately, the teen breaks into a wide grin.
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"He had no idea," DeMasters told InsideEdition.com. "He did see me with the ring on the day before, but he was pretty shocked. I didn't think he thought he was getting a ring."
Although Herrero isn't officially a part of their 22-member roster, they also presented with jersey number 23, to make their beloved friend an unofficial part of the team.
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