High school football player with Down syndrome scores during Lovington game
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LOVINGTON, N.M. – A senior football player with Down syndrome earned the opportunity of his life while playing last weekend.
Iziah Martinez scored his first varsity-level touchdown against Ruidoso. The touchdown was celebrated by both teams and his coach described it as a moment he will never forget.
"When Iziah was standing in the end zone, our side line erupted, they were excited about it and doing that," Lovington head football coach Anthony Gonzales said. "Then they just followed him right into the end zone and then all of a sudden I look over and I see just a wall of white and gold just streaming into the end zone."
According to Gonzales, he makes the environment better for everyone on the team.
"When he walks into a room, he lights up the room – he really does," Gonzales said. "It’s amazing to see the reaction of his teammates when he walks into the locker room at the end of the day."
Iziah Martinez has been on Lovington’s team for four years. According to Martinez, he is going to miss it but he is excited for the next chapter in his life as he finishes high school.