SAN ANTONIO – Taking the field Saturday morning among 45 athletes was Christian, a 10-year old warrior.
Christian has Down syndrome and a drive like none other. Standing on the sidelines cheering him on was his family. His mother Melissa Cavillo was brought to tears witnessing him play with the pros.
"It just means a lot that he's able to be a kid and not judged or looked at (differently)," Cavillo said. "He can do everything. He can! And more! There's no limit."
Ahead of the Lone Star Bowl on Saturday evening, American Football Events Team USA hosted a free football camp for kids of all ages. Dale Glossenger, president and head coach of AFE Team USA said it goes beyond being able to play on the field. The purpose of the event is to inspire and give back to children in need.
"Athletic ability is easy to find but finding ways to build the character both on and off the field (is what it's about)," Glossenger said.
Under the hot sun Saturday morning, football players including wide receiver Marquone Edmonds taught the kids fundamental football drills.
"It's a really good experience," Edmonds said. "It teaches you not to take anything for granted and all the kids that are not able to do the things that we're born to do, you kind of get the opportunity to give back to those (who are) less fortunate."
AFE Team USA also welcomed a special group of visitors from Shields for Kids and the Children's Rehabilitation Institute of TeletonUSA.
"They're all special in their own way. They all have a passion for football," Edmonds said. "No matter what circumstances they all have, we're all here for the same reason."
The Lone Star Bowl kickoff is at 6 p.m. at the University of Incarnate Word's Benson Stadium. Tickets are $10 at the door. Admission is free for military members, active or veteran, as well as youth football athletes who wear their jerseys.