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VIDEO: Sackville high school rugby player with Down syndrome scores first try at final home game of season

Both teams co-operate to make special moment come true

SACKVILLE, N.B. – It was a moment Sierra Holmes and her teammates likely won’t soon forget.

A lot of “tries” have been scored so far this year during Tantramar Regional High School’s women’s rugby season, but none as touching as the one Holmes scored last week.

Holmes, a Grade 9 student at Tantramar who has Down syndrome, came into the game during the second half of the Titans’ final home game May 17 and, in cooperation with both teams, had the chance to run down the field and cross the goal line to score her first-ever try.

“What can I say about the whole thing? It was just such a special moment for everyone,” said coach Lorissa Johnson.

Johnson said Holmes' rugby journey began even before she joined the team this year.

“She fell in love with the sport when her sister Madison started playing and she couldn’t wait to get to high school so she could join,” she said.

Coach Johnson said Sierra has been one of the hardest workers at every practice and comes to every game to cheer on the girls with the hopes of getting on the field.

“She totally embodies our whole team philosophy of positivity and having fun.”

Johnson said she and fellow coach Scott Hems knew early on in the season they wanted to give Sierra  the opportunity at some point to get out on the field. So, as the final home game of the season approached, they asked the opposing team J.M.A. Armstrong if they would be on board for creating this special moment. They didn’t hesitate, said Johnson.

“So definitely a big 'thank you' goes out to them for their excitement and willingness to take part in what will surely be one of the most memorable tries for our team and certainly Sierra and her family.”

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