JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — The East Tennessee State University (ETSU) men’s soccer team hosted a special signing on Saturday to make 11-year-old Landon Ward a member of the school’s soccer program. Landon is from Kingsport and was born with Spina Bifida, and his spirit for ETSU soccer runs deep.
According to a release from ETSU Athletics, Ward’s condition “inhibits his ability to run and jump and perform other activities like other children his age.”
Ward has reportedly had ten surgeries to keep him as healthy as possible, and through it all, has remained an avid lover of all things sports. ETSU Athletics learned about Landon’s love for sports and decided to take him in as one of their own.
On Saturday, the men’s soccer program made it official by partnering with Team Impact to provide Landon with a National Letter of Intent to become a member of the program.
Landon sat in the hot seat during the Signing Day ceremony on Saturday as he inked the papers in front of a cheering crowd. Jason Ward, Landon’s dad, said Landon enjoyed every minute of the event.
“He looks up to those guys,” Ward said. “They have the ability to do [sports] out here and do the things that he would love to be able to do; to see the [players] interact with him and show him respect, just warms our hearts.”