Autism has never stopped eighth grader Damion Luera of his dream to be an Alice Coyote.

Luera is a student at William Adams Middle School. He would see the football players practice every morning as he arrived at school and would tell his mother how much he would love to play, said Annabelle Ibanez, Luera’s mom.

After hearing her son repeatedly mentioning how he wanted to be part of the team his mother met with the school principal and the football coach to see if they would allow him to play or what had to be done to get him on the team.

“I wanted to do something for my son, because he loves sports and wanted to be part of the team. For Damion, it doesn’t matter what he does as long as he can call himself a Coyote,” Ibanez said.

When Ibanez approached the school, football season was coming to an end so it was too late to join. However, Ibanez was told that Damion would be allowed to be part of the basketball team.

“When I was told that Damion would be allowed to be part of the team I could not believe what I was hearing. I was so happy, tears rolled down my face. It means a lot to Damion and I. We’re grateful to the William Adams staff,” she said.

After his first day at team practice Damion told his mother that everyone on the team was nice to him and treated him as part of the team. He looks forward to every practice with his fellow Coyotes - a dream come true.