NJ Team Mgr. with Down Syndrome Takes F/O

From NJ.com: Mark Griffin woke up Thursday morning ... unable to move his fingers until his mom wrenched them apart ... After the daily session ended, Griffin climbed out of bed, ate his breakfast, brushed his teeth, put on his No. 13 lacrosse jersey, and headed to school for what came to be known as Mark's Big Day.

"It's the best day ever," said Griffin, who has known his share of challenging days, having been diagnosed with Down syndrome and battled serious medical conditions throughout his life. "It's my biggest game. I'm just happy."

The culmination of months of preparation played out at 4:13 p.m. Thursday as Griffin stepped into the center circle to take the faceoff for the North Warren Regional High School varsity lacrosse team against Morris Knolls.

His glory lasted 21 seconds, as he raked the ball, ran with it for 10 yards, passed it off to teammate Kyle Pollard, then sprinted off the Blairstown field into a mob of open arms. Hundreds of students cheered his name from the stands, many having stepped away from their own practices. His mom, Deborah, watched from the front row, crying.

Read the full story by The Star-Ledger's Jackie Friedman and see photos plus a video at NJ.com.


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