Novi football team to host special camp for kids

Posted at 5:38 PM, May 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-23 18:56:08-04

The story of Robby Heil, the water boy who suited up for a night on the Novi football team, reached millions online last September.

Ever since Heil crossed the goal line, the story of a boy with Down Syndrome scoring a touchdown in front of his ill mother, spread faster than a high school rumor.

"Getting calls from ESPN, CBS and some others, I never really saw it going that route," Novi head football coach Jeff Burnside recalled.

But instead of making it a one-hit-wonder, the Wildcats are sharing the experience that one boy had, with others like him.

"I think we live in a world where a lot of times it's me, me, me, and I wanted our kids to start giving back to everybody else," Burnside added.

So last summer, on the heels of the internet fame, Robby's story inspired the Novi program to begin Fantasy camp for other kids with disabilities to get a taste of the gridiron. And now they're doing it again.

"It's fun, and happy and joy," Novi water boy Robby Heil said. "I like the drills like kicking, and tackling Burnside."

"We taught every kid whether they were in a wheelchair or you could run really well how to tackle last year, taught them how to throw, how to catch, how to kick," Burnside said.

"This year we really want to open it up because now I have a real understanding of what we're looking to do, our kids now understand what we want to do and I think the experience with Robby this year, they really want to do more and our kids are doing a great job of wanting to give back," Burnside added.

On Monday, June 19th, at Novi high school, any boy or girl who wants to run like Robby, will get their chance.

The Novi Wildcats fantasy football camp is now open for registration for all special kids who want to participate in the Friday night experience.