Home Sports Local Sports Former ENMU-R Special Olympian honored

Former ENMU-R Special Olympian honored

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Submitted Photo Seth Dannheim wins first-place during the Special Olympics contest.

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CEDAR HILL, TX — Former Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell student Seth Dannheim was selected to the 2020 Longhorn Legacy Athletic Hall of Honor at Cedar Hill High School in Cedar Hill, Texas, just outside of Dallas.

Dannheim is the first individual with Down syndrome to be selected for the Longhorn Legacy Athletic Hall of Honor. While at ENMU-Roswell, he was part of a program for students with special needs. He interned at several jobs in Roswell, including Walgreens and Ace Hardware.

Since his time in New Mexico, Dannheim has returned to his hometown of Cedar Hill where he volunteers at Plummer Elementary School. The induction ceremony was set for early April, but it was postponed due to COVID-19. Dannheim’s excitement has not waned.

Gina Farmer, former Cedar Hills Independent School District athletic director, left a voicemail with the news, and when Seth listened to it, he was pretty emotional, Seth’s mother, Karen Dannheim, stated. “He kept saying he was so honored,” Karen Dannheim said. “Then, he got really excited and said he had to go buy a suit and get his speech ready. This means that all of his hard work paid off, and that CHISD recognizes that everyone is valuable and has something to offer.”

Dannheim’s selection to the Longhorn Legacy Athletic Hall of Honor is historic because he is the first inductee who has Down syndrome. A 2008 Cedar Hill High School graduate, Dannheim has volunteered at Plummer Elementary School for the past few years. He was nominated by Shelly Williamson, longtime Plummer physical education teacher.

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“I met Seth when he was 5 years old, and I coached his kindergarten basketball team,” Williamson said. “I have coached his Special Olympics teams since 2002. He is a great volunteer at Plummer. He really enjoys working with the scholars in the gym, and he also helps out during lunches with the custodian. Seth is energetic and he gives me life. The entire staff at Plummer absolutely loves Seth. I couldn’t imagine the Plummer Gym without him.”

During his time at CHHS, Dannheim competed on the cross country team and served as the girls’ varsity soccer manager and the junior varsity girls’ basketball manager. He competed in track and field, basketball and bowling in the Special Olympics and also became a certified Special Olympics coach.

“It was fun cheering on the teams from the sidelines and going on the bus to away games,” said Dannheim, who attended Highlands Elementary, and Waterford Oaks Elementary and Beltline Intermediate and Permenter Middle School.

Karen Dannheim said, Seth’s opportunity to work with scholar-athletes at CHHS was a great opportunity for him.

“It gave him time with role models he might not otherwise have known,” Karen Dannheim said. “It allowed him to be involved with after-school activities and programs. Most importantly, he was recognized as part of the team. He was so excited when his name and manager title were on the team T-shirts, along with the players’ names.”

Dannheim’s older sister, Callye Dannheim Emmons, will be inducted, as well. She was a First Team All-District member of the 2003 CHHS girls’ soccer team. She went on to play NCAA Division I soccer for Rice University in Houston.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Dannheim said. “Hearing that my sister and her soccer team are getting recognized, too, that makes me feel happy.”

 

By Michael Sudhalter
Special to RDR Sports