An Autistic High School Football Kicker Leads His Team To A Dramatic Upset

Man, who keeps chopping onions near my computer?

1. This is Anthony Starego. He is a senior at Brick High School in New Jersey. He’s also autistic.

2. Anthony has been a die-hard Rutgers football fan for most of his life. He can often be found in the stands throwing out Twizzlers every time the Scarlet Knights score.

3. In 2006, Anthony witnessed his favorite Rutgers moment of all time. The Scarlet Knights upset Louisville on a last second field goal from kicker Jeremy Ito. After making the kick Ito turned and pointed to the camera.

4. It was a cool moment, but more importantly, it was one that changed Anthony’s life forever.

5. Anthony watched that kick over and over again. He decided at that moment, despite his disability and his parents’ concerns about his disability, he would be a kicker.

6. He practiced constantly. The repetition and ritual of the process was comforting to him. Before long he was consistently making 40+ yard kicks, and was good enough to be the varsity team’s kicker.

7. In his very first start at kicker, Brick took on powerhouse Tom’s River North. The game came to down to the wire. Tied 21-21 with little time left in the fourth quarter, Anthony was called on to make the deciding kick.

8. Anthony lined up and let it fly. It was perfect. Brick High wins.

9. After the kick, Anthony was so overwhelmed by the moment that he just started running, his arms raised in triumph.

10. He just kept running. Happy. Victorious. He was Jeremy Ito.

11. When asked what he did by kicking that field goal, Anthony said, “Helping my team. Helping my family.” And when he was asked how he helped his family, he adorably responded:

12. But the story didn’t end there. Rutgers invited Anthony out to the team’s stadium to get his own Scarlet Knights jersey…

13. And kick some field goals…

14. And recreate the moment that changed his life.

15. Watch ESPN’s story about Anthony here:

View this embed ›

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

Facebook Conversations
          
    Now Buzzing