Six-year-old autistic boy becomes star of football game - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Six-year-old autistic boy becomes star of football game


A six-year-old autistic boy was the star of the Rivercrest Colts football game Saturday.

At the beginning of the game, Joseph Ball, who suffers from autism, walked out on the field with his older brother Colton.

Joseph, known as Joe Wade by family and friends, was captain for the game.

After the Colts received the ball, Joe Wade ran alongside his brother, father and teammates to score the first touchdown against the Dynamites.

His mother Cassie Ball said most people didn’t realize what was going on until Joe Wade got further down the field.

That’s when she said the crowd erupted in cheers.

"It was just a feeling I had never felt before especially with Joe Wade being autistic,” Ball said. “The kids gathering around him and him just being able to experience that was great."

Joe Wade’s teammates blocked for him as he ran into the end zone.

The opposing team knew about the play and even pretended to dive and tackle Joe Wade as he ran.

Toward the end, his big brother gave him a push to complete the play.

"He started walking and dropped the ball so I started pushing him the rest of the way," Colton Ball said.

Ball said Joe Wade enjoyed getting to play with the team.

"It was just a fun time for him. He got tickled and starting laughing when he ran in the end zone and it was just a great day for him," Ball said.

The Ball family said they owe a huge thank you to everyone who made the night possible.

"It takes a village to raise a kid and well it does with this one,” Ball said. “Joe Wade is all over the place and everyone looks out for him and cares for him.”

Ball said the community and school constantly helps her son feel special and loved.  

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