In touchdown run, a linebacker feels the love

Here’s today’s daily dose of sweetness.

In Virginia, Sepp Shirey is a dedicated member of the Atlee High football team, putting in his work though it requires more effort because of cerebral palsy.

Last week, his coach put him in the game, to let him run the ball a short distance. His coach asked defenders to just put hands on the young man; don’t tackle him. That’s the way these things work.

But his dad, who was on the sidelines, overheard the instruction. “Let them hit him,” he said.

He got one handoff, but fell.

Then he ran 80 yards.

“I looked pretty consistent throughout the run, but there was about three times where I was this close to going over,” Sepp said. “Once I got to the 20, I had no energy left in my legs.”

WTVR reported that it had been a chippy game up to that point. Varina High was only too willing to tackle him after he got a few yards downfield, but then …

“I looked in his eyes when he was running,” said Taesean Crutchfield, a Varina linebacker. “I looked at him, I was clapping him on. I just wanted him to score because I knew it would be a good feeling for him.”

He told his teammates to join him.

“I was like, ‘Dang! Is this really going on?'” Crutchfield recalled. “I could feel it inside. I don’t know why, but I loved him as a person because he’s got more heart than anybody.”

“I looked back at his dad and his dad is teared up and he comes and gives me this big hug,” the Atlee coach said. “It was just, our kids and…I was like, that’s the best thing that’s happened to us all year. And what a powerful moment.”

“We learned more from him than what anyone thought we gave him,” Stu Brown, the coach of the other team told “The definition of physical and mental toughness is Sepp marching 80 yards.