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Undefeated Wrestler Gives Opponent with Down Syndrome a Win

The Short of It

An undefeated high school wrestling champion graciously relinguished his winning streak to a boy with Down syndrome.

The Lowdown

Norton High School co-captain Deven Schuko had a 27-0 record when he stepped into the ring with Andy Howland, a wrestler with Down syndrome at a neighboring Massachusetts school.

"He wanted a match, and I wanted to tangle with him," Schuko told WCVB 5.

The match lasted just 15 seconds, with Howland pinning Schuko to the mat for the win. The two boys then shook hands, and Schuko went back to his bench while Howland celebrated with his team.

"He threw in a good move," Schuko said, giving Howland all the credit for the win. "He was strong. He's a tough kid. If I had to lose to someone, I'd like to lose to Andy. It was a win-win in my book. He won; I won."

Anthony Pucino, a parent watching from the stands, knew a hero had just been born. He recorded the matchup and posted the video of it to his Facebook page, where it soon went viral.

"This is a video of what a team captain and leader looks like," he wrote. "Deven Schuko, a senior with a 27-0 record this year, a young man who earned his 100th career win a few days ago to join the century club at NHS, took the time to make a dream come true for a young wrestler with special needs from Dighton Rehoboth's team. So proud to have witnessed this. Truly a special young man. Thank you Schuko!"



This is a video of what a team captain and leader looks like. Devin Schuko, a senior with a 27-0 record this year, a...

Posted by Anthony Pucino on Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Upshot

Nearly 800,000 people have now watched the video on Facebook, and not surprisngly, the story has attracted a ton of media attention.

"It's pretty cool that all this attention has been drawn for a simple act of kindness," Schuko said.

"Deven Schuko, he's a class act," added Norton wrestling coach Pat Coleman. "I think [he] just proved that it's never wrong to do the right thing."

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