Special needs athlete ends high school football game with memorable tackle

On Friday night, a special moment took place in the final seconds of Andrews 64-14 win over Lubbock High. This is one Evan Sparks will always remember.
Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 8:02 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD/Gray News) - The final moments of a high school football game in Texas will be remembered by both teams for a long time.

On the final play of a game between high schools Andrews and Lubbock, Evan Sparks, a senior at Andrews, made a big tackle.

Sparks has special needs, and his teammates lifted him up and celebrated after the win.

Sparks ran over and pumped the whole crowd attending the Friday night game.

KCBD talked to the coaches to get the full backstory.

With Andrews leading 64-14, coach Tom Harvey said the crowd began chanting “We want Sparky!”

Harvey said it was actually Lubbock coach Juan Rodriguez who initiated the event.

Lubbock called the timeout and sent word to Andrews to put Sparks in the game, KCBD reported.

Harvey said he never spoke to Rodriguez about it, and can’t say enough about him for his kind action.

When KCBD contacted Rodriguez, he told them he wanted to put things in perspective and make it a teaching moment for his kids.

The coach said the score says one thing, but the last play of the game shows the character of the players.

“That kid brought humility to the game,” Rodriguez said. “That play will last forever.”