For four years, Amanda Young has been the student manager of the girls volleyball team at Hayden Catholic (Topeka, Kan.). Tuesday night, the senior was on the court during a match for the first time.
Young, who has Down syndrome, delivered a moment nobody in attendance will forget. She delivered back-to-back aces, bringing the crowd to its feet with chants of “Amanda Young! Amanda Young!”
“Amanda has just made our team, our school, just a better place,” girls volleyball coach Jesica Farmer-Walter told the Star. “She’s a great person, and we love her. And we wanted to find a way that we could give her the opportunity to be in a game.”
Young was also elected homecoming queen last month, so the school year has been an eventful one thus far.
As for Tuesday night’s impactful moment, the Star reports Farmer-Walter consulted with officials before the game and asked opposing coach Lisa Kinderknecht of Manhattan (Kan.) High if she’d be willing to help.
Kinderknecht was happy to have her players let Young’s serves land at their feet.
“Everyone just embraced it, it was such a positive night,” said Farmer-Walter. “It makes you look at everything differently when you have these kinds of moments. Amanda’s a fighter. She’s a great, great kid, and she’s a good teammate. It’s going to be sad when she graduates.”
It was a fitting tribute for Amanda Young, a valuable member of the Hayden family.