During a high school football game over the weekend, a senior with cerebral palsy scored an 80-yard touchdown — the farthest he’s ever walked or ran without his crutches.
Sepp Shirey, a student at Atlee High School in Richmond, Va., scored the first goal of his career during Friday's game, running the ball 80 yards with his teammates and opponents cheering him on.
His dad Hunter Shirey, who often works with the team, told InsideEdition.com that no one expected he would have been able to get that far without the assistance of his crutches.
“He can’t go 80 yards,” Shirey said. “The plan was to do a regular play – let somebody hit him, he wants to get hit, he wants to play regular football – but I guess the kids out there on the field had in their mind they wanted to let him go. Sure enough, he went 80 yards.”
He explained that Sepp has been a huge football fan his entire life, ever since he took his first steps unassisted at 6 years old while he and his friend were playing football.
“He dropped his walker and he was walking across the front yard,” Shirey recalled. “He was tired of his walker slowing him down too much. That was the first time he had ever taken steps on his own.”
Sepp is now a full-time running back on his high school’s team, and has help from his teammates putting on his gear in the locker room.
“They can lift him real fast and get him ready in between plays,” he said. “He does tackling drills just like everybody else. He falls a lot, but he’s worked hard.”
Sepp now hopes to attend University of Alabama next year to study sports journalism or coaching.
“He’s hoping to be a part of that team,” his dad said. “Somehow, someway, he’ll figure it out.”