16-year-old with autism hits FG to hand Calif. school league title

16-year-old with autism hits FG to hand Calif. school league title

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16-year-old with autism hits FG to hand Calif. school league title

Alec Messing had to get special dispensation just to compete in high school football. Now, he’s reponsible for handing San Fernando a Mission Valley League title.

As reported by Los Angeles news network KTLA, Messing has been allowed to compete for San Fernando despite the fact that he doesn’t attend the school because he is instead at The Help Group, a center that provides specialized learning opportunities. The teen has autism, and was allowed to compete for San Fernando, his home school, because The Help Group does not field sports teams. The caveat was that Messing would have to earn his spot on the team on merit, something which he accomplished thanks in part to his dedication to placekicking.

After a full season of work taking San Fernando’s kicks, Messing found himself in precisely the situation that many terrify many kickers: He had a chance to win a game, and a league title in the process.

The result was a 32-yard field goal that sailed through the uprights to beat Valley Mission League foe Sylmar, 16-13.

There was never any question about who would take the pivotal attempt for San Fernando, just as there was never any question about incorporating Messing into the program; he earned a spot on the team, and earned the right to take the kick, part of an incredible, inspiring story that has captured the imagination of so many.

“Whatever it is you may have, it shows that you can still be a part of everything and people shouldn’t judge you. And [the players] don’t judge Alec. They let him come out here and be what he is,” San Fernando football coach David Rountree told the Times.

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16-year-old with autism hits FG to hand Calif. school league title
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