AUSTIN, Texas — Texas high school football on Friday nights are special, especially with moments like one that happened in Austin on Nov. 13.
In a tremendous display of class and sportsmanship, the Hutto and Vandegrift coaches and players have agreed to make the first play of the game very special for Tommy Hartman. Hartman is the senior team manager for Vandegrift and has autism spectrum disorder.
Vandegrift head coach Drew Sanders reached out to Hutto head coach Brad LaPlante to see if he would allow Hartman to score a touchdown in the game on Senior Night, and coach LaPlante agreed to help Hartman capture this special memory.
"Tommy played football when he was younger, and he loves football – that's why he's our manager – and I knew he'd like the opportunity to carry the ball in a game, so when I asked him he was fired up," Sanders told KVUE.
KVUE was at the game to capture Hartman's magical moment:
Hartman scored a 49-yard touchdown run (and added a great celebration) on the team's senior night.
MaxPreps shared Hartman's memorable touchdown online, as well:
NFL players Quandre Diggs, Darius Slay and Jamal Agnew also made Hartman a special video leading up to the game.
On Sept. 17, KVUE's Jake Garcia caught the special moment of Lockhart senior defensive end Desmond Pulliam – who also has autism spectrum disorder – scoring his first career touchdown.
As for the Hutto-Vandegrift game, Sanders and LaPlante told KVUE it was not just about football and was not just about Hartman – but rather about building the character of every young man in the stadium.
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