Blogs / Features
Jose GarciaMultimedia Journalist/Historian firstname.lastname@example.org
Desert Vista's No. 1 football fan is a KingAug 18, 2012
Saturday couldn’t come sooner for Dez King, Phoenix Desert Vista’s football No. 1 fan.
The high school football season is what King, 24, lives for. It’s been that way since he attended the school.
King’s mother, Coralea Gosnell, wanted her son to play sports, but she knew that was out of the question as soon as King was born. King has a mild form of cerebral palsy.
When King was a baby, doctors inserted a shunt into his brain to help keep his spinal cord fluid circulating. But that isn’t keeping King from walking on the field every time Desert Vista plays and practices to support his team any way he can.
On Saturday, King led Desert Vista out of a University of Phoenix Stadium tunnel before Desert Vista’s game against Nevada Palo Verde in the 7th annual Sollenberger Classic. Like King, former Arizona Interscholastic Association historian Barry Sollenberger, the Classic’s namesake, lived for Arizona’s high school football season.
“I eat, breath and sleep Desert Vista football,” King said. “I can’t sleep at night, because I’m just thinking about football Monday through Friday.”
When he was attending Desert Vista, a counselor introduced King to Desert Vista coach Dan Hinds.
They’ve been friends ever sense.
“Dez is my right hand man,” Hinds said.
With his green eyes and jovial personality, it’s easy to see why Desert Vista fell in love with King.
“Dez captured all of our hearts as soon as he walked into our lives just like Luke captured our hearts when he came into our family,” Hinds said.
Luke is Hinds’ 6-year-old boy.
Luke also has cerebral palsy. After Desert Vista beat Palo Verde 20-10, Hinds held Luke in his arms as Hinds talked to reporters.
King meanwhile was busy celebrating with Desert Vista’s players just like he did last year when Desert Vista won the Division I title at Phoenix University Stadium. He also received a state championship ring, which King proudly showed off on Saturday along with his lighting bolt and football shaped earrings.
On Monday, King will celebrate another big day, his 25th birthday. There isn’t a party planned.
But all King really wants to do is be on a football field with his football family.
“To be able to run on the field during practice and games, I can’t tell you how much joy that brings to his (King) life,” Gosnell said.