Middle School Football Players and the Secret Play

"I kind of went from being somebody who mostly cared about myself and my friends to caring about everyone and trying to make everyone's day and everyone's life." Justice Miller / CBS NEWS

“I kind of went from being somebody who mostly cared about myself and my friends to caring about everyone and trying to make everyone’s day and everyone’s life.” Justice Miller / CBS NEWS

Look up awesome football plays on YouTube and you will be impressed by what you find! Most likely 280,000+ football video results that are indeed amazing and motivating to watch. Among them you will see one particular broadcast called On the Road: Middle school football players execute life-changing play, also known as the ‘secret play.’

According to CBS News, the Olivet Middle School football team, without their coach knowing, came up with a secret play. During the game, the player holding the football would go down at the one-yard-line on purpose. The goal was to get as close to the end zone but not score the touchdown.

Why would the football team miss an opportunity to score and possibly win the game? Obviously, this football team had a secret idea in mind. Their game plan was to uplift a fellow teammate, Keith Orr, and give him a chance to score his first touchdown.

Who is Keith Orr? In the video we see that Keith is the little kid in the brown jacket. He is learning disabled and has difficulty controlling his behaviors. Keith clearly struggles with boundaries. What’s important to note is that Keith has a caring heart and in his own way has made a difference in the people around him. In return, the football team has excepted Keith and the team acts with integrity, honesty, fairness and respect toward Keith. Watch!

In the news broadcast, Steve Hartman interviews Justice, Nick, Parker, Keith and his family. The video ends with a powerful statement:

“Which may just make that touchdown the most successful football play of all time.”

  • Clarify. What do you believe is the meaning of Steve Hartman’s words as quoted above?
  • How has this important gesture, action, changed Keith and his team?


Character: the way someone thinks, feels, and behaves : someone’s personality : a set of qualities that are shared by many people in a group, country, etc.


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27 replies

  1. Middle School Football Players and the Secret Play
    The quote means that to learn teamwork you have to work together no matter if there different than you.It change Keith and his team because they learned to accept Keith even though he was a nobody.It means a lot to Keith because someone is always standing up for him.

  2. Middle school football players and the secret play.

    I think he’s trying to say that his team is trying to help Keith get better at football and they are trying to make Keith a somebody instead of a nobody.The football team is trying encourage Keith and make the whole school notice him.
    The video shows that the team is being nice to Keith and Keith feels protected by his team.He feels liked.He’s a somebody and Keith feels good to be apart of the team.:)

  3. Middle school football players and the secret play

    1)It was the best play because it was more because they care about him.
    They want to help him make his goal.

    2) At first keith was a nobody and playing football changed his life.
    The team is kind to keith an keith is a new person and has new friends.