191106_mr_spt_sammy

Ottawa senior running back Samuel “Sammy” Roberts runs for a 94-yard touchdown on the final play of his high school career as teammates run with him, cheering the senior on at Panther Stadium on Friday, Nov. 1. Roberts, a four-year member of the Cyclones program, was dedicated to the team and did not miss a single day of summer conditioning and weight training.

PAOLA — Samuel “Sammy” Roberts ended his prep football career for the Ottawa Cyclones with a 94-yard touchdown against the Paola Panthers.

Sammy is a four-year member of the Ottawa football program.

He was unable to play his freshman season due to an injury.

During the summer weight training and conditioning, Sammy did not miss a single day.

Near the end of the fourth quarter, the Ottawa Cyclones sent Sammy onto the field for a chance to make one of his dreams come true.

He had never scored a touchdown.

Ottawa had a play designed just for Sammy.

“We went over the play (14 Belly) to make sure he knew what to do, and the rest is history,” Ottawa coach Rob Hedrick said. “We’ve wanted to get Sammy a touchdown all season.

“He works so hard and enjoys football so much we thought it would be a great reward for his dedication to the team and program,” Hedrick said.

Sammy was dealt a tough blow when he was in eighth grade, suffering a brain injury that left him with a high functioning form of autism.

“He breaks through the secondary, across midfield to the 30, the 20, the 15, the 5, touchdown,” said public address annoncer Jeff Hines.

It was a moment the Ottawa football family and others in attendance will never forget, Hedrick said.

“I doubt if Sammy has stopped smiling yet,” he said. “It’s definitely a feel-good situation. It’s a great reminder to me how fortunate we are to be involved with football, youth and sports.”

As he broke away from the Panther defense, the Paola Rat Pack student section started chanting his name “Samuel Roberts, Samuel Roberts, Samuel Roberts.”

“We sometimes lose sight of the positive impact our sport has on the young men participating in it,” Paola coach Michael Dumpert said. “We get caught up in the win-loss aspect only. It was a beautiful moment.”

S

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.