LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) – The Mowat football team took on Surfside on Wednesday afternoon, but the game was extremely special for one member of their team.
Sixth-grader Stephano DeOliveira had his dream of playing football come true at halftime.
Stephano was born with a rare heart condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and has been waiting for a heart transplant since he was 2-years-old.
He’s been through many open heart surgeries and other hardships in his life, making it difficult for him to suit up and take the field with the other Mustangs.
“We work with him in P.E., he’s been our flag football Heisman trophy winner pretty much, so we wanted to elevate him to the next level, we wanted to take him to the real field,” Mowat head football coach Tony Davis said.
At halftime, Coach Davis ran three plays for Stephano and the last one was a huge touchdown run for him, complete with a celebration dance taught to him by the team.
“It felt pretty amazing,” Stephano said.
The Mowat cheerleaders had shirts on with Stephano’s name on them and a sign for him as well.
After he scored the touchdown, he ran off the field to a crowd of people waiting to congratulate him on the big accomplishment.
The Mowat manager said he just can’t wait to don the uniform once again for the team and score another touchdown.
“If my brother can do it, maybe I can too. It’s like nothing I could do ever before or after everything I went through, I managed, or completed my dream,” Stephano said.
Stephano was given the game ball signed by all of his teammates and the game coin from one of the officials.
Mowat also went on to win the game against Surfside to stay undefeated on the year.