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7Everyday Hero Jeremy Dorr gives all students a chance to play high school sports

Posted at 1:58 PM, Apr 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-29 15:58:40-04

PARKER, Colo. — On the sidelines of the basketball court beats the heart of Legend High School's team.

"He is one of the kindest, nicest, most enthusiastic funny guys I've ever met," said Mindy Watrous, president of Special Olympics Colorado.

"He" is Jeremy Dorr, the coach who believes all athletes deserve the same shot.

"To me it's more than just the sports, it's relationships that get built. You can see a culture that can change a school because of it," Dorr said.

Four years ago, Coach Dorr started a unified sports program at Legend High School in Parker. The program brings athletes with and without intellectual disabilities together to compete. Athletes like Legend High School senior Taylor Mathewson.

"He's always full of energy and sometimes I'll walk down the hall and he'll go, 'Taylor the tower of Mathewson.' He's just really really funny and I'm really going to miss him next year," Mathewson said.

"What we found is that not only does it help kids with intellectual disabilities, it makes a space in the school with all differences and in this day and age, it's really important," Watrous said.

Coach Dorr isn't paid. He volunteers at least 20 hours a week for his athletes. That's on top of a full-time teaching job and going to school full time as well. He's also raised more than $14,000 for Special Olympics Colorado.

"To see them score a basket and jump up and down and feed off the crowd cheering for them, you can't help but smile," Dorr said.

And when you play with that kind of teamwork, everyone wins.

Molly Hendrickson anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30-7 a.m. She also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on Denver7. Follow Molly on Facebook here and Twitter here. To nominate a hero in your life, click here.