Where are they now: Ike Ditzenberger
Snohomish High School junior Ike Ditzenberger, who has Down syndrome and Type 1 diabetes, became a celebrity when he scored a touchdown with the help of his teammates and their Lake Stevens opponents.
Seattle Times sports editor
"I Like Ike" buttons are everywhere these days in Snohomish, and so is Ike Ditzenberger.
He went on a date to Snohomish High School's Homecoming Dance. He leads drills at wrestling practices. He's learning to play the piano.
A lot has happened since a video of Ike's touchdown run against Lake Stevens made him a celebrity. More than 2.5 million hits on YouTube later, the 17-year-old junior with Down syndrome and Type 1 diabetes continues to inspire others.
In stores and on the street, strangers stop to shake Ike's hand. "Everybody knows him," says his mother, Kay Ditzenberger.
Kay and her husband Steve can recount many touching moments.
At piano lessons: A few weeks after Ike told his teacher, "this dumb," he played "Jingle Bells," three times through and yelled, "I did it, Mom!"
At the Homecoming dance: Everyone in the gym surrounded Ike and his date, Homecoming Princess Emily Zylstra, and chanted, "Ike! Ike! Ike!" as he showed off his dance moves.
At a photo shoot for Star Times: Dwarfed by members of The Seattle Times' all-area football team, he lights up the room with his smile while the other kids show only game faces. Minutes later, those same players were all smiles and asking their parents for snapshots of them with their arm around Ike.
Ike has a way of breaking down defenses, on or off a football field. He changes people. Ike's life changed, too.
When Ike returns to school after the holidays, he'll skip special-needs classes and walk to regular classes glancing at his new watch and a laminated card of his schedule. He'll be just like other kids.
Ike's family and the school district have rewritten his educational goals with one word: Inclusion.
"I think that's what it's all about," Kay says. "Ike and other kids like him have much more capacity than we've ever given them credit for."
For Ike, everything changed when he wove 51 yards with help from Lake Stevens players and celebrated in the end zone with his Snohomish teammates.
Ike and his team got a standing ovation at a Seahawks game at Qwest Field on Oct. 24. Headline News did a Thanksgiving Day special on Ike. Dateline NBC producers have plans to do a segment. Aegis Films contacted the family about a film. Kay is mulling writing a book.
Ike is busy working with a speech therapist so he can accept a special award at Benaroya Hall on Jan. 26 at the Seattle Sports Star of the Year banquet.
Ike will speak for those who can't.
"Please give others like me a chance," Ike plans to say. "Give them a place in your classroom, on your team and in your community. Help their dreams come true like my coach, team and school did for me."
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.