News

PIAA stops "special moment" for player with muscular dystrophy

BUTLER TOWNSHIP, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) -- What was supposed to be a special moment for a baseball player with muscular dystrophy has turned into a controversy in Schuylkill County.

Last week Eyewitness News introduced you to Brandon Harris, a senior at North Schuylkill High School.

We shared his inspirational story, but now Harris's supporters are saying that his time to shine was taken away from him and his teammates.

Coach Nick Brayford wanted to surprise Harris by putting him in the game as a pinch runner.

The Pottsville pitcher would overthrow first base on a pick-off attempt, and Harris would finally get his chance to cross home plate.

Both teams were on board, but the PIAA said no.  Associate Executive Director Melissa Mertz told Eyewitness News that while the PIAA supports the Spartans, Harris didn't have an athletic physical for baseball.

Mertz also cited safety concerns with putting a wheelchair on the playing surface.

"There are several rules that we have that nothing should be put on the field other than the actual baseball equipment," said Mertz.  "So obviously when you're putting an item like a wheelchair on there, that's not something that's within the rulebook."

"I feel like it would've been a great moment for us," said Harris.  "We've worked so hard to get here.  I've been part of the team for years.  I feel like all of us deserved it!"

Harris's mom said her son was cleared by a doctor to participate in extracurricular activities.

As the manager, he's on the field before every baseball game and even does a victory lap around the bases after the team wins.


Don't Miss

  • Survivor Casting Call
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • American Red Cross
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • The Big Game
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Home for the Holidays
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Pro Football Challenge
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News

Video Center