There is a Facebook page called OTSportsChek. It’s run by the extraordinarily dedicated journalist Jerry Patterson. He covers sports from Northeastern Colorado with timely headlines and crisp photography, and it’s on that page where he posted a story in huge all-caps. It read, “AND THE CROWD GOES WILD.”
According to all sources, it did. It happened during a football game between the Briggsdale Falcons and the Otis Bulldogs. Not only did both teams join together to hoist Carlos Valdez in the air, but Patterson said it’s the greatest instance of sportsmanship he’s ever seen.
This is likely because it’s one of the greatest comebacks in sports history
The origin being a holiday weekend on July 3, 2017; a date with a recollection that Valdez shares in horrific detail. He was nine years old and playing in a lake when he lost his legs, some of the motor skills in his arms, and nearly his life when a rogue boat was pulled into the young Valdez by its still-running propeller.
Several years later he’d emerge from both medical and emotional distress. Valdez speaks of the struggle like someone twice his age.
With his progress returned a hunger for adventure and all the things a growing child wants to be a part of. He joined Future Farmers of America, the drama club, was crowned the freshman homecoming king, and took up skiing—an inmate in a nearby prison even designed a saddle for him to ride horses again. But it was as manager of the boys basketball team that he began wondering if playing for a team was even a possibility.
It appears that with the right family, the right coach and the right community about anything is. I traveled up to Briggsdale, Colorado to catch a football game and get the story of exactly why the crowd went wild.