Over the years, I’ve covered many Amity Football and Boys Ice Hockey games. The players come and go, but one player is always there, year after year, a member of both teams even though he doesn’t actually play the full-contact sports.
This super kid is Zakarai Schneider. He always wears a jersey to every game, either football or hockey, depending upon the season. He is always accompanied by his devoted father, Mark.
Zak was born with Down Syndrome, Apraxia, and he has an intellectual disability. His communication skills are limited and he has weak muscle tone, yet he loves sports and his positive attitude and infectious smile make everyone’s day when they see him. Since he came to Amity High School, Zak (class of ’21) has always been accepted by the boys and coaches in both sports programs and they appreciate his support at the games.
During halftime, under the lights at last Friday night’s football game, Zak and his dad took to the field and passed the ball around.
From the booth, game announcer Rob Kennedy introduced him to the crowd, stating, “Ladies and gentlemen, out on the field is Zakarai Schneider. He’s one of our most dedicated players, but because of his handicap, he can’t play with the team, but we all love him. Let’s hear it for Zakarai!”
If everyone was as upbeat as Zak, and supportive as his father, the world would be a much better place.
We love you Zak!