, Newburyport, MA

March 15, 2013

Hey, that picture looks familiar

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

There is a story behind the picture on the Sports page on Wednesday, March 6. We (my family) are staunch Norwich supporters and have season seats right next to the opponent’s bench at Kreizberg arena. One of my two boys, Christian, is 21 and has global developmental delays. He is a very happy, outgoing young man who loves hockey, but most of all loves hockey players. He spends most of his time watching the players on the bench rather than the game and is more than happy to cheer for any puck going in a net whether ours or the opponents — for him it is a love of the sport not so much a team.

Being a part-time photographer, I have taken pictures from my seats for the past six or seven years at Norwich home games and obviously concentrate on our team. I then put the pictures up on Facebook for the players to tag and share and do with as they please. For many players’ families, it is nice to get some pictures of their kids while away at school. Christian, dressed in his Norwich jersey and hat, looks almost like he is taunting the players as he waves and gives them a thumbs up, only looking for a little attention. We make sure he is not a distraction to the team, but he loves to get a player’s attention every now and then. Every season there seems to be a few players who make an effort to tap the glass, give him high-fives and smile as they skate by him. This makes Christian’s day — he gets very excited and it makes his night to know that one of these idols “waved to me.” Trevor (Hines) is one of those few.

Their first interaction was at Norwich on Jan. 12. In exchange for the interaction I try to get some pictures of the player and find them on Facebook and offer the shots as a thank-you gesture for their kindness. Trevor was able to see beyond the jersey and even though not a word was exchanged, was able to make this game a very special one for Christian. His parents have a lot to be proud of as does Babson College having him as an ambassador and representative.

We were impressed enough that when Norwich traveled to play Babson in Wellesley on Feb. 15, we made the trip to see Norwich but also meet up with Trevor again. This time we met him in person and his parents. Christian was very excited to not only “wave to him” but to get a picture with him. We had one more meeting at the ECAC Championship game at Norwich. Thanks to Steve and Susan and, most of all, Trevor for making a difference in Christian’s life and letting him know that he is not invisible.

John and Wendy Sell

Barre, Vt.