For a few fleeting seconds, 12-year-old Kyler Scheiffele fulfilled a dream of booking it across the grass at an NFL field.
Despite its brevity, his mother said the moment will be imprinted in his mind for life.
On Oct. 6, the young Houston Texans fan from Sugar Land waited with bated breath to sprint out and retrieve Ka’imi Fairbairn’s kicking tee following his opening kickoff for the Texans in their home game against the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium.
“I was really excited,” Scheiffele said. “I know that not many people get the chance to do that.”
Each season, randomly drawn winners get the opportunity to run out on the playing field and retrieve the tee after either the opening or second-half Texans kickoff at each of the team’s eight home games. Scheiffele’s family also got four tickets to the game, a Texans jersey, a $500 gift card for Ashley HomeStore and recognition on the NRG Stadium scoreboard during the game.
“It was cool to see the players and be on the field where everyone at the stadium was watching me,” Scheiffele said.
The family also had access to the sideline to watch the players and teams warm up prior to the game.
“(Kyler) has always been so enthusiastically excited about the Texans, and I knew getting the opportunity to run out there would’ve been a complete dream for him to be able to do,” his mother, Gina Galvan, said.
Galvan said Kyler’s motor is always running, as is his passion for both football and basketball.
As such, Gina has entered her son in previous Texans “Play 60” activities when they’ve come to the area.
So there was no hesitation to enter him in the “Kickoff Kid” sweepstakes.
“(Doing things like this) encourages him to stay focused, whether it’s in sports or getting to go back to school and tell the class about what he was able to do,” she said. “I see that his passion is that he does love football and does love basketball. He always has so much fun with that, so we try to keep him doing these things every time one comes up.”
Before entering Kyler in the contest prior to the season, Galvan said the family normally preferred watching games from the comfort of their home. But that did not keep her from pursuing the kickoff kid opportunity for her son
“It’s an experience he’s going to remember for the rest of his life,” she said.
On that day, her son got his chance in the spotlight and made the most of it.
“I practiced before and didn’t want to mess up,” Kyler said. “My favorite thing was picking up the kickoff tee and being right where the players are. The stadium was loud, but it was fun and exciting. I love the Texans, and I told my friends and teacher and they were happy for me.”