HUSD Super Kids Bowl scores big with special needs children

Special Needs student Max Diego is lifted onto the shoulders of Tahquitz High School football player Jason Pate and led out to a victory walk after scoring a touchdown at the HUSD Super Kids Bowl, Friday, Jan. 26. Tony Ault photo

It may have been an unheralded sports record Friday, Jan. 26, at Tahquitz High School in Hemet when more than 100 touchdowns were made in less than two hours with the Tahquitz High School Titan Football team and cheer squad showing their finest.

But for the hundred or more special needs students from Hemet Unified School District’s schools, who each made one of the touchdowns in the annual “Super Kids Bowl” in the high school stadium, it will long be remembered.

It was a sports spectacular with the Titan Band playing, school coaches cheering on the students and cheerleaders doing high fives to the winners all.

“I did it. I did it,” was heard many times as the special needs students ran across the goal line with the Titan football team assisting, knocking down their teammate opponents every which way—all in fun.

It was the 14th annual Super Kids Bowl at HUSD to ensure the districts the special needs students feel a part of the upcoming Super Bowl weekend that in its own way has become a national holiday.

Banners welcoming the special students from Hamilton K-8 Bobcats, Idyllwild Lions, Little Lake Elementary, Jacob Weins Elementary, Valle Vista Elementary, Winchester Elementary, Cawston Elementary, Bautista Creek Elementary and Hemet Elementary hung on the Titan Stadium fences.

“It’s a great experience for them,” Valle Vista Elementary School teacher Marlene Galavis said of her eight special needs students. “It’s a chance for them to be social and loved. They are given the royal treatment.”

Teachers from other Hemet Schools at the event saw the smiles and joy being given their students by the high school students, teachers and staff.

That same thought was seen with the Titan Football team members like Titan Quarterback R.J. Young, defensive end Mikey Jones, wide receiver and safety Jayson Pate among all the other players who had one of the most rewarding practices of the season.

“Its fun for the kids,” Quarterback Young said. “We want to give them a good time. It’s all about them.”

Big No. 99 Jones, perspiring from his run with one of the special students, said “It’s really great helping out the kids and the community.”

“I like it. It’s great for the kids,” safety Pate said with a big smile.

Sarah Peterson, Titan Cheer coach, ran over the field to say, “The cheerleaders love this. They live for this kind of stuff and adore being able to give back to the community.”

This special love and kindness from the cheer squad was easily seen as they surrounded and cheered for little Joshua, a Valle Vista Elementary student in a wheelchair who clutched his football closely to his chest after crossing the finish line.

The day could not have been better for Bautista Creek Elementary special needs kindergartner Max Diego, with football in hand who was lifted above Titan football safety Pate’s head and sat upon his shoulders after scoring his touchdown. His smile said everything.

Next year another HUSD high school football team will participate in the next unforgettable “Super Kids Bowl.”

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