Parents appeal to keep son, autistic kicker, on team

May 1, 2013 2:17:22 PM PDT
Anthony Starego is a household name in Brick and a media sensation.

Who could forget his game winning field goal kick for Brick's Varsity High School team last season? His story's been told many times.

"Everyone who sees it gets choked up, moved," said Ray Starego, Anthony's father.

But the 18-year-old is at a painful crossroad, that his parents hope will pave the way for other kids with disabilities. Anthony has multi-symptom autism.

"Moderately, very low IQ, sensitivity to touch," said Reylene Starego, Anthony's mother.

Under the state's athletic association rules, as Anthony gets set to turn 19, heading into his fifth year of high school, he's no longer eligible to play on the team, seen as an unfair advantage over other teams.

Its unfair say his parents who appealed and lost.

"They say he shouldn't have special treatment, of course he should." Ray Starego said.

Anthony has a growing wall of fame at home and shelf of salutations, none which compare to actually being on the team.

"His confidence level took off," Ray Starego said.

"When he got the game ball, when he thought no one was listening, he said, 'All my life I've been a knucklehead, I'm not a knucklehead anymore,'" Reylene Starego said.

The family is appealing again, this time to the state's Board of Education.

If that doesn't work, they say they are prepared to try to take it to the Supreme Court and get it hopefully resolved before the fall season begins.