PIAA stops honor for player with muscular dystrophy

The Pennsylvania Athletic Association stopped a special honor meant for a baseball player who has muscular dystrophy.

The North Schuylkill High School baseball team recognized Brandon Harris in a ceremony before last week's game against Pottsville.

But that wasn't the original plan.

Coach Nick Brayford wanted to surprise Brandon by putting him in the game as a pinch runner, finally giving him the chance to cross home plate.

The Pottsville pitcher would overthrow first base on a pick-off attempt. Both teams were on board.

But the Athletic Association said no.

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

The PIAA said they support the team, but cited safety concerns with putting a wheelchair on the playing surface, in addition to Brandon not having a physical for baseball.

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

And as the manager, she said Brandon's on the field before every baseball game and even does a victory lap around the bases after the team wins.

But above all, she doesn't think Brandon's abilities should define who he is.
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