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Yes Way, Jose: Bowie H.S. Student Has Special Needs, Special Story

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 10:47 PM CDT

There is a garden at Bowie High School that is dedicated to the fallen members of the Bulldog family. 19-year old Jose Velasco, Jr. deserves credit for keeping the flowers, and thus the memories, alive. But this plot is not the only story for which Jose will be remembered.

At the age of three, Velasco, Jr. was diagnosed with PPD-NOS, a form of Autism. But the challenges associated with his condition did not keep him from joining the Bowie High wrestling team.

"My four years is like a process of trial and error," admitted Jose.

Early on, it was almost all error.

"It was really painful to watch," said Deya Velasco, Jose's mother.

Jose lost every single match as a freshman. His parents and coaches thought he might be better off as the team's student-manager, rather than a competitor. In response to that proposal, Jose registered his first take down.

"I still remember it vividly," said Jose Velasco, Sr. "He said, 'you guys don't get it. I want to be a wrestler."

Velasco never missed a practice. Never made an excuse. Never was treated differently than his teammates.

"He actually puts in more work than most guys here," said Bowie High School head wrestling coach Spike Fogle.

As a sophomore, Jose finally won a match.

"It felt like I was invincible," exclaimed Jose, Jr.

"He just came and hugged his dad who was right there," said Coach Fogle.

"It was incredibly special," admitted Jose, Sr. "You see somebody being committed to something and staying true. In the end, he deserves the credit. It was only him and the mat."

That was one of just two victories that year. The following season, Jose won his first medal. This year, as a senior - albeit on the JV, Velasco placed third in the district meet.

"I especially want to thank Coach Fogle, and all of my coaches, for helping in my wrestling career," said Jose, Jr.

"He may thank me, but I thank him," shared Fogle. "I am extremely honored to have met Jose Velasco, let alone coach him."

But Jose's influence at Bowie extends well beyond the mat. Upon noticing that the school's memorial garden was wilting, Velasco chose to install a rainwater harvesting system as his Eagle Scout project.

"When he gets motivated to do something, it amazes me how dedicated he can be," said Deya.

Thanks to help from his scout troop, AISD and the City of Austin, Jose achieved his goal.

"I think he's a very courageous person with a big heart," said Jose, Sr.

"My parents say I have a learning disability, but to me it's no road block," said Jose, Jr.

Velasco cemented his legacy by providing a water source for a withering garden. But watching him bloom, despite special needs, has been the most rewarding growth at Bowie High.Yes Way, Jose: Bowie H.S. Student Has Special Needs, Special Story


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Scores & Schedules

December 22, 2014 08:06 GMT

NFL

Thursday's Game

Jacksonville 21, Tennessee 13

Saturday's Games

Washington 27, Philadelphia 24

San Diego 38, San Francisco 35, OT

Sunday's Games

Houston 25, Baltimore 13

Detroit 20, Chicago 14

Atlanta 30, New Orleans 14

Miami 37, Minnesota 35

Carolina 17, Cleveland 13

Green Bay 20, Tampa Bay 3

Pittsburgh 20, Kansas City 12

New England 17, N.Y. Jets 16

N.Y. Giants 37, St. Louis 27

Oakland 26, Buffalo 24

Dallas 42, Indianapolis 7

Seattle 35, Arizona 6

Monday's Game

Denver at Cincinnati, 8:30 p.m.

NBA

Sunday's Games

Toronto 118, New York 108

Cleveland 105, Memphis 91

Sacramento 108, L.A. Lakers 101

Phoenix 104, Washington 92

Miami 100, Boston 84

Philadelphia 96, Orlando 88

Brooklyn 110, Detroit 105

New Orleans 101, Oklahoma City 99

Indiana 100, Minnesota 96

Monday's Games

Denver at Charlotte, 7 p.m.

Toronto at Chicago, 8 p.m.

Portland at Houston, 8 p.m.

Utah at Memphis, 8 p.m.

Atlanta at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

L.A. Clippers at San Antonio, 8:30 p.m.

Sacramento at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.

NHL

Sunday's Games

Colorado 2, Detroit 1, SO

Dallas 6, Edmonton 5, SO

Boston 4, Buffalo 3, OT

N.Y. Rangers 1, Carolina 0

Chicago 4, Toronto 0

Philadelphia 4, Winnipeg 3, OT

Monday's Games

Ottawa at Washington, 7 p.m.

Nashville at Columbus, 7 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Florida, 7:30 p.m.

Arizona at Vancouver, 10 p.m.

San Jose at Anaheim, 10 p.m.

Calgary at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.

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KEYE-TV Sports Team


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