Logan Senior with SMA-LED Makes Football Dreams a Reality
NORTH LOGAN, Utah – Sometimes football is about a lot more than just the four quarters and the points on the board.
At Green Canyon High School, the Friday night lights shined the spotlight on an unlikely starter for the moment of a lifetime.
Wearing number 82, senior Jonny Stott took the field as the Wolves’ quarterback on the team’s first offensive play against Logan High School.
He promptly completed a pass to the left and the crowd went wild.
“It’s a dream!” his mother, LaLoni Stott, exclaimed. “He’s our Superman!”
It didn’t matter that the pass was short. It was how far Jonny Stott had come.
Born with a rare genetic mutation known as spinal muscular atrophy with lower extremity predominance (SMA-LED), Jonny Stott didn’t know if he’d ever be able to take the field other than as someone who worked on the sidelines, which he had done for the previous three seasons.
“I just wanted to be out there even though I couldn’t play,” Jonny Stott said. “Sometimes at night I just sit down and cry because I can’t play football. That’s been my dream—playing football for BYU and playing basketball for BYU, too.”
Prior to the game, Jonny Stott told a younger group of football players that the condition had helped to make him a “better person” than he would have become otherwise.
“We all have struggles in our lives and my struggles have been my legs,” Jonny Stott said. “Being on the sideline managing has been the hardest thing ever because I see people get hit and throw and I want to be out there hitting people.”
LaLani Stott said her son’s determination to reach his goals—even if it is through unconventional means—has been come to known as, ‘Jonny’s way.’
“That’s his thing—just overcoming and being happy and being grateful for the journey,” she said.
After completing the pass, Jonny Stott’s teammates began to give him high fives and hugs.
The teen said he was glad his team and school gave him the opportunity to play.
“It was so fun, you know, it was the best experience,” Jonny Stott said. “It’s been my life dream to do it all.”