Marysville News

Football

Dream comes true for Vanscoy

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It was Marysville High School football player Jacob Vanscoy's shining moment.

An enthusiastic member of the program for three seasons, Vanscoy's physical disabilities -- he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and epilepsy at birth -- have limited his playing time.

Coach Morgan Cotter rewarded Vanscoy for his dedication by letting him play during the fourth quarter of the Monarchs' 51-12 win over visiting Central Crossing on Oct. 25.

The 18-year-old senior made his varsity debut on senior night.

"This is a dream come true," Vanscoy said. "Thanks to coach Cotter, now I just got an honor to represent my mom when she's not here. I have to thank coach Cotter for the opportunity."

Vanscoy dedicated the game to his mother, Kendra, who died in October 2012 from MRSA and pneumonia, he said.

She was his No. 1 supporter in sports -- and life.

"My mom was a big part of why I joined the team," Vanscoy said. "She was a big part of my life and (the one) who made me want to join sports and meet new people."

Vanscoy is listed as a lineman on the Marysville roster, but he entered the game at wide receiver.

"The plan was if everything went the right way, we wanted to get him on the field tonight," Cotter said. "He's earned that. He comes to practice and he does his part in practice."

Cotter credited Central Crossing defensive back Mason Shimmel for assisting Vanscoy with getting in the proper alignment.

Vanscoy and the other 20 seniors on the team were recognized before the game. He was escorted onto the field by grandparents Cookie and Meryl Reed and cousins Devin Reed, Camelia Kiss and Kelly Reed.

Vanscoy was introduced to sports at about 7 years old through Special Olympics. He has participated in flag football, track and field, bowling, golf and soccer, and remains active in the organization for disabled athletes.

Vanscoy joined Marysville's junior varsity football team as a sophomore and has been a member of the varsity for two seasons.

"The thing about being a football coach here is to win games and things like that, but there are times when there's stuff outside the game that is a little more important," Cotter said. "We have a good bunch of kids (who) take care of (Vanscoy). They look out for him in school. They make him feel like he's part of the family."

Vanscoy credits the program and coaching staff for providing him with a valuable and memorable experience, which will continue when the Monarchs play their Division I, Region 1 playoff opener Saturday, Nov. 9.

"Football is a sport about love with a team (and) treating each other like brothers and not just football teammates," Vanscoy said. "We treat each other as a family and as coach Cotter said, we are a family. We do a lot of things (together). Coach Cotter has taught me about inspiration. He's a good man. He's gotten me through tough situations where I couldn't get out myself."

Senior wide receiver and kicker Nick Mazza has developed a friendship with Vanscoy, providing guidance on and off the field.

"I try to help him out the best that I can, whatever situation he is going through," Mazza said. "He went through the death of his mom. I just try to be there for him the best that I can. We don't want to make him feel left out. We try to include him the best we can."

As an intervention specialist at the high school, assistant coach Aaron Rossi previously had Vanscoy as a student.

"Like most kids from their freshman to their senior year, he's matured both as a student and as just an all-around person," Rossi said. "If you say his name in the hall, probably 99.9 percent of the kids know who he is."

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