Division 2 Athlete James has a new name at Spirit League – the Defense Machine. While James plays Spirit League basketball and soccer, his favorite is soccer because he loves to run and has a special talent for defense.

Isaiah, James’ younger brother, is a new athlete in Division 3 and plays all three League youth sports including basketball, baseball and soccer. Like his brother, his favorite is soccer. He likes to practice his kicking, scoring goals and is a true force on offense.

According to James’ parents, “We started the kids in Spirit League to increase their confidence, develop their coordination, and improve their teamwork and other social skills. We also wanted to see them have fun in the process and make new friends. They have improved tremendously as time has progressed. For James, the biggest improvement came last year with soccer. At the beginning of the season, he was intimidated by bigger kids chasing the ball, but his confidence grew and he would challenge those bigger kids for control of the ball. He even tried a little offense at the end of the season and scored a goal. He also has Ethan for a friend, ever since his first soccer season two years ago.

This is Isaiah’s first year of Spirit League, and he has grown as well, especially in soccer. He has been waiting on the sidelines, practicing with his brother at home and was excited to finally play once he turned six. He has surprised us all with his natural talent.

Without a doubt, they have been impacted by being in Spirit League, and we look forward to their continued growth.”

James and Isaiah are living examples of the Spirit League mission: creating a community where athletes with developmental disabilities thrive. Whether it’s thriving on the soccer field, learning new skills or making a friend that lasts over the years, it’s what we do.