Disabled athlete focuses on ability, makes history

Disabled athlete focuses on ability, makes history

Disabled athlete focuses on ability, makes history

A young man with Down syndrome has made history, and his father and coach is not surprised.

Kevin Cox, father of Caden Cox (#21 in picture above), a freshman at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio,  helps coach the junior college football team there and says Caden trained well as a kicker before he got his big chance.

"We were at a home game, and [there] came up an opportunity for Caden to kick an extra point," Kevin Cox shares. "That's how Caden got put into the history books this year."

Caden was actually four for four in the season, and Cox says that though his son has Down syndrome, he knew early on his son was athletically inclined.

Cox, Kevin (Hocking College) Cox

"He started in martial arts just after two years old, once he started walking," Cox accounts. "Out of that he started doing drums, then track and field, and all kinds of different things. So he's very musically inclined and athletically inclined as well."

Caden became the first person in history with Down syndrome to score a point in an NCAA or NJCAA college football game when he scored the 35th point with an extra point kick after a Hawks touchdown.

"Our message and Caden's message going forward is going to be it's an ability, not a disability," the father asserts. "Tell all these families and these kids who have a disability that you've got ability. It's just getting it out of each one of 'em. We were told that Caden would never graduate from high school and never go to college."

Caden, who is pursuing an associate of technical study degree with a focus on canine programs and performing arts, currently has his sights set on playing football at Ohio State once he completes junior college.