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Teen with Down Syndrome Becomes High School Placekicker

An Ohio High School has found itself a kicker in Caden Cox—a 17-year-old student with Down syndrome.

Freemont Ross High School was in search of a placekicker, when their special teams coach Kevin Cox—who is also the father of Caden—landed on his son.


New placekicker Caden Cox (photo: Jordan Strack)

New placekicker Caden Cox (photo: Jordan Strack)


“Caden jumped up there and began making some field goals and was kicking better than some of the middle school kids and a couple of the high school kids so we were like this could work,” states Coach Cox. “This is a big one for me, because I was brought up in football, and to put a kid with Down Syndrome on the field, I think it’s a big hurdle.”

Caden has had a successful track record in other athletics as well. He’s a three-time State of Ohio Special Olympics swimmer, as well as a member of the school swim team and the track team.


This piece is based on an article from USA Today HSS that can be found here.

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Mike Nickas received his Bachelor of Arts in Film and Multimedia Studies at Florida Atlantic University in December of 2015, and is currently pursuing his second BA at the University of South Florida in psychology with a minor in education. He is the former host of the online news show The Week in Neurodiversity. He also currently works for Dr. Mike Rizzo’s Child Provider Specialists in Weston, FL.