Riverton football honors ‘biggest fan’ Carson Lloyd with a senior year touchdown at homecoming
Nov 18, 2019 04:42PM
By Mark Jackson
Carson Lloyd is a well-known presence at Riverton’s sports programs. (Photo by Ashley Lloyd)
By Mark Jackson | [email protected]
Two weeks before Riverton’s homecoming football game, Carson Lloyd approached his friend and team captain, Isaac Rengers, and grinned:
“I want to play football at homecoming,” he said.
Lloyd had never played in a football game, but his friends on the team were determined to make it possible.
Carson may be known best for his extroverted personality and his confidence — he is an established presence at Riverton sports events. He manages several Riverton teams, including the varsity football team, and wrestles.
However, an extremely rare disorder called Kabuki syndrome prevents him from playing football.
Still, Carson has always gravitated toward the sport. He attends every game and has memorized the cheers so he can perform them alongside the cheerleaders. He helps Rengers’ mother, Sadie Rengers, to operate the snack shack at home games.
Riverton High School footbal coach Jody Morgan welcomes Carson to every practice and camp, calling him “Riverton’s biggest fan.” He said Carson inspires the team.
Carson’s mother, Ashley Lloyd, admires Morgan’s care and love for the players. Like any parent, she is nervous to send her son to football camps but trusts Morgan and the team to look out for her son.
Morgan has a background in special education, and Sadie Rengers said he has fostered an accepting and understanding culture within Riverton sports.
Still, Carson has never lived his dream of playing on the team. Now a senior, he was spending his final football season without even had the opportunity to try out.
So, when Carson told his mother he wanted to play at homecoming, Ashley Rengers approached Morgan and asked if her son could score a touchdown.
Isaac Rengers, who plays quarterback, even offered to have Carson to take his position on the field for the game — anything to get Carson on the field.
Morgan called Copper Hills High School football coach Cory Dodds, and both teams’ players agreed to give Carson an opportunity to score. Getting official approval was unexpectedly complicated — but one day before the game, Morgan called Ashley Lloyd to confirm: “Carson can play.”
Both teams agreed to an untimed down before the game: Isaac would hand Carson the ball, and he would rush for the end zone.
Isaac’s Rengers’ brother and fellow Riverton player, Kaden Rengers, sent a hurried last-minute group message asking the team for gear in Carson’s size. Within two minutes, Sadie Rengers said, someone had offered cleats, and the rest of the gear quickly followed.
At the game, Carson led his team onto the field in full uniform. Then, he received the hand-off and scrambled through the gauntlet into the Copper Hills end zone to some of the loudest cheering Riverton players have ever heard before the start of a game.
“It made me so happy!” Carson said.
For his team, it was an opportunity to give back:
“He’s probably the most genuinely kind person you’d ever meet,” Isaac Rengers said. “It was great to turn that around and do something kind for him — to see him get the payout, you know? Like karma, kind of.”
The experience was meaningful and instructive to the players.
“If you really want something, you can achieve that, if you go for it,” Sadie Rengers said.
Although Carson has now achieved the biggest dream of his senior year, he isn’t finished dreaming yet.
“I want to wrestle,” he said. And, he adds, almost mischievously: “I want to be prom king!”
KUTV produced a short video segment about the touchdown play: find it here.
October was Kabuki Syndrome Awareness Month. Read more about Kabuki syndrome at kabukisyndrome.org.