January 03, 2011
Just last week, Prep Rally named Snohomish (Wash.) High player Ike Ditzenberger's fairy tale run to the end zone the best high school sports story of 2010. It's comforting to know that Ditzenberger's life hardly peaked there, as the senior's life seems to keep getting better and better with a varsity touchdown next to his name.
According to a year's end recap on Ditzenberger by Seattle Times sports editor Don Shelton, Ditzenberger is now leading drills at Snohomish wrestling practices and managed to unintentionally spark a town-wide fashion trend. How? By blending his beautiful smiling mug with a classic American political campaign slogan from 1952. After all, everyone does like Ike.
The button you see here has become arguably the single most ubiquitous accessory in Snohomish, which is still slated to host NBC's "Dateline" TV program later this year for an episode on Ike's remarkable touchdown story. The buttons have been proudly sported by people walking down the small Washington town's main streets, many of whom stop to shake Ike's hand when they see him, while wearing his button.
As for Ike himself, the senior is moving on to much bolder life advances. He hopes to participate in all regular classes in his final semester, and has even started taking piano lessons.
"I think that's what it's all about," Ike's mother, Kay, who is considering writing a book about her son's experience, told the Times. "Ike and other kids like him have much more capacity than we've ever given them credit for."
In fact, Ike will try to prove exactly that later this month, when he will give a speech after accepting a special award at the annual Seattle Sports Star of the Year banquet. The teenager has been working with a speech therapist to prepare for his next big night, where he will deliver a message asking those in attendance to help give more students with learning disabilities a chance to be integrated into everyday activities like school sports.
Given what he's accomplished on other big nights, something tells us that Ditzenberger will have no trouble coming through with flying colors.