On Friday night, Andrews and Lubbock High meet on the field to pound it out, and Andrews came away with a decisive 64-14 win over Lubbock High, but even while losing, both teams and the community members in attendance walked away with a win.
KCBD‘s Pete Christy shared the report that on the final play of the game, 5′3 100 pound Senior Evan Sparks of Andrews, who has special needs, came in and made a big tackle to end the game.
Watch the entire video:
Sparks was lifted onto the shoulders of his teammates, and the crowd went wild. But Sparks was not done. He then proceeded to expertly engage each section of the crowd in a cheer.
The video shows the moment that Sparks made the tackle, and the instant response from the crowd, but the best part about this story, is not what you see in the video. It is about what Chisty was able to learn when he was researching the backstory.
“I called both coaches to get the backstory and was in tears from what I heard. That final play will be remembered, not the final score!” Christy wrote. “I called Andrews Coach Tom Harvey, who I love and respect so much. He told me the crowd started chanting, ‘We want Sparky!'”
The rest of Christ’s report:
However, it was not the Andrews side of the field that initiated the play.
“Coach Harvey then said it was Lubbock High Coach Juan Rodriguez who initiated the whole thing. Please re-read that. Wow! Total Class!” Christy reported.
Lubbock High called the timeout and got word to Andrews to put Evan in the game.
Harvey said he never spoke to Rodriguez about it, and it was unbelievable what Lubbock High and the Westerners runner Sean Briceno did.
Harvey says he can’t say enough about Lubbock High Coach Juan Rodriguez.
I called Coach Rod to see how he set this in motion.
He told me he wanted to put things in perspective and make it a teaching moment for his kids… what the world does when you show kindness!
Coach Rod says the score says one thing, but the last play shows our character.
Rodriguez told me he heard the home crowd yelling for Sparky and turned it into a teaching moment. He called time out to get Evan from Andrews in the game.
“That kid brought humility to the game. That play will last forever.”
Evan came in made the tackle and had his moment that touched everyone.
I made a social media post on Saturday rapping about It takes two to help, care and be kind to someone and these two teams did that.
Way to go Lubbock High and Andrews for giving Evan a moment he won’t forget and neither will anyone on that team.
I’m not crying.