Valley high school football player to be honored Super Bowl weekend

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Super Bowl weekend will hold some excitement for a Valley high school football player with autism. He will be given a special award for his community involvement as well as his athletic skills.

Super Kid honoree Vincent Stover of Glendale, was diagnosed with autism at age four.

But now, Stover is a 17-year-old senior at Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, where he plays offensive and defensive tackle for the Mountain Lions varsity football team. His teammates named him "Most Inspirational Player," one of multiple awards for his work ethic on and off the field.

On Thursday, actress and Autism Speaks board member Holly Robinson Peete and former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete presented Stover with the second annual Super Kid Honors.

The pair has a son with autism. And in 1997, they founded the HollyRod Foundation, which is dedicated to providing compassionate care and a better quality of life to those living with autism and Parkinson's disease

Stover seemed a natural choice for this year's Super Kid Award. His family credits his community involvement with helping him become an outstanding student and athlete.

"He's on the spectrum. He plays football. And it's really important that these young people get folded into sports," Holly Robinson Peete told us. "I love the fact that the high school has embraced him. He's a honors student. And we need more high school communities to lift up kids like that."

Stover is member of the National Honor Society, and has participated in basketball, track, band and chorus. He volunteers for numerous charitable causes and his school's Sports Medicine team. Vincent plans to attend Glendale Community College to pursue a career in physical therapy and sports medicine.

The ceremony honoring Stover will take place Friday, Jan. 30 at 2 p.m. at Joe's Crab Shack in Tempe.

For more information on the HollyRod Foundation, visit their website.