Norton high school wrestler gives up undefeated season to opponent with Down Syndrome

Norton High School wrestler Deven Schuko had a perfect 27-0 record in his senior year. Earlier in the season, he earned his 100th career victory. But it’s the way Schuko took his first loss that has people talking.

During a match last week, Andy Howland of Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School (DRRHS) became the first opponent to beat Schuko this season, taking down the No.1-ranked Massachusetts Division III wrestler in his weight class. For Howland, who has Down Syndrome, the win was the fullfilment of a dream.

“Win or lose, it’s the most fun to watch him wrestle,’’ DRRHS wresting captain Chris Tito told CBS Boston. “He comes off the mat with the biggest smile.’’

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“I love it,’’ Howland tells CBS Boston of his favorite sport.

You can watch a clip of the match below.

Schuko says he is surprised by the outpouring of positivity he’s received following the match. The story has been picked up by dozens of news outlets nationally.

“We shook hands and we locked up and he was a tough kid and he bulldogged me over to my back. I couldn’t stop the power,’’ Schuko said, via CBS Boston. “I’ve been in sports all my life and wrestling I believe is most demanding and for someone like Andy to wrestle and stick with it, I wanted to make his day.’’

Said Howland’s mother, Debbie, “I think the message is sportsmanship is alive and well today and it’s because kids are accepting kids like Andrew wholeheartedly.’’

This is how awesome it is to be a Boston sports fan

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