Beyond the Playbook: Duluth East, Cloquet football host Victory Day event

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Last spring Duluth East held a Unified Track and Field Victory Day for special needs kids, the school brought that tradition back this time to the grid iron this fall.

Fans at this past Fridays Duluth East and Cloquet football game where greeted with a heartwarming surprise when the starting lineups were announced.

Hearing not the usual names, but the names of both schools special Olympics athletes, as they were set to take the field at halftime for a Victory Day event.

“It’s so important for us to make sure that we’re allowing everybody to have as much access as possible. For all these kids to come out and do their best and have everybody cheering them on. I think it was a highlight of the fall for me,” stated Duluth East Superintendent John Magas.

Both the Lumberjacks and Greyhounds cheer teams also included Unified Cheer Members, creating an outstanding atmosphere for the kids.

“A long time ago I loved football. To run it into the end zone a lot was good. A long time ago I played football with my dad and me, so I love it, I love my life,” said Quinn a Unified Football player.

The teams, who would usually got to the locker room during half time stayed on the field to help the kids compete in a flag football match. Incorporation catching, throwing and of course scoring touchdowns in front of their friends and parents.

“I think that the parents had such a wonderful time seeing their kids out here playing football and cheering them on. I think just knowing how hard it is to raise children with special needs. I think that this was just a wonderful, wonderful way to show that different people have different abilities and they’re all extraordinary,” added Magas.

“It is amazing to honestly see what unified can do. That’s kind of why I joined unified is because it’s so cool to see other people who have disabilities and without coming together to do something like this,” concluded Cloquet Unified team member Chris Peterson.