VIDEO: Texas special needs soccer player scores goal in game with some help from opponent

Here’s a great moment from a JV soccer game between Texas soccer teams Rudder (Bryan) and Mayde Creek (Houston).

As you can see in the video above from the Houston ChronicleRudder’s Jacob Zapalac darts through Mayde Creek’s defense for a goal. What makes it so special is that Zapalac is a 21-year-old with Down syndrome and a student of Bryan ISD’s 18 PLUSS Program.

He’s not allowed to play varsity, but Rudder coach John Primeaux added him to the JV roster when he said he wanted to play.

“Jacob’s a cool guy,” Primeaux told the Houston Chronicle. “I talked to his mother, and she said he wanted to play soccer. I talked to Jacob and said, ‘Well, come on then. Let’s play some soccer.'”

Players have often allowed Zapalac to score a goal on a penalty kick, Primeaux told the paper, but Mayde Creek players wanted to do one better and have Zapalac score in the flow of a game.

“I wish you could have been there to see the look on this young man’s face as he scored the goal,” Mayde Creek coach Ryan Allred told the Chronicle. “His hands quickly shot in the air while running to the sideline and then jumping into the arms of his coach.”

Great stuff, and the entire piece on Jacob and his teammates from the Houston Chronicle is well worth your time.