Man of the Year Runner-up: Ike Ditzenberger

  • By Rich Myhre Herald Writer
  • Thursday, March 24, 2011 12:01am
  • Sports

At first glance, Ike Ditzenberger might not seem like an athlete who would ever excel on a football field.

But what he did in a Sept. 24 game against Lake Stevens — and what he accomplished with the help of teammates and opposing players alike — ended up being more memorable than most sporting moments any of us will ever see.

Ditzenberger, who has Down Syndrome, entered in the waning seconds of a game the visiting Vikings led 35-0. After lining up in the backfield, Ditzenberger took a handoff and started around left end to the sideline. He cut back to the middle of the field, and ended up crossing the goal line for a 51-yard touchdown on the final play of the game.

Surrounded by his teammates, Ditzenberger danced in the end zone and then ran to the sideline, beaming joyfully. It was a heartwarming moment, and one made possible by some terrific young men at Lake Stevens High School who understood how much they could give Ike — and the rest of us, through the wonders of the internet — with their selfless decision to surrender their shutout so he could score.

And for Ditzenberger, a finalist for The Herald’s Man of the Year in Sports for 2010, that was just the beginning. The video was seen by thousands of viewers around the world in the ensuing weeks, making him a celebrity. The video clip was shown repeatedly on local and network television programs, and on other websites.

On Oct. 24, he and his teammates were honored during a Seattle Seahawks game against Arizona at Qwest Field.

And on Dec. 5, Ditzenberger received something he will cherish, like his memories of that special night, for the rest of his life — his first Snohomish varsity football letter.

More in Sports

Late-season charge propels Kamiak boys to state regional berth

A post-loss team meeting served as the catalyst for the Knights’ run to the 4A Northwest District tournament championship.

Report: Fultz received $10K loan from agency before coming to UW

The revelation is the latest chapter of a federal probe investigating college basketball corruption.

When Huskies’ Dickerson speaks, others listen

There’s a lot you don’t know about Noah Dickerson. That’s about to… Continue reading

Friday’s prep results

King’s boys advance in 1A state tournament; Glacier Peak girls lose.

At a glance: Boys basketball state regional games

Below are capsules for Saturday’s state regional basketball games involving local boys… Continue reading

Youth-laden Lynnwood girls peaking at the right time

The Royals overcame adversity and ‘ups and downs’ to reach the state regionals.

Spartans seeking ‘redemption,’ return trip to Tacoma Dome

A year after losing its two state tournament games, Stanwood is eager to return to the Tacoma Dome.

Tips notch third straight with win over Vancouver

Everett breaks the 40-win plateau for the 6th time in franchise history.

Most Read