90ºF

Autistic teen celebrates state baseball championship after fighting for eligibility

Andre Guardarrama reinstated by FHSAA after special waiver for 2018 denied

Andre Guardarrama, who is autistic, celebrates after Miami Christian School won its first state championship in baseball since 1975.
Andre Guardarrama, who is autistic, celebrates after Miami Christian School won its first state championship in baseball since 1975.

MIAMI – An autistic teenager who was initially denied eligibility for a South Florida high school baseball team can now call himself a champion.

Andre Guardarrama, 17, is a member of the Miami Christian School baseball team, even though he attends Schoolhouse Preparatory.

Because his school doesn't have a baseball team, Guardarrama tried out for and made the team at Miami Christian School.

The Victors won the Class 2A state championship Monday, defeating Wakulla Christian School 9-3.
Although Guardarrama didn't play in the game, the victory is that much sweeter because he almost wasn't a part of it.

His parents told Local 10 News earlier this season that the Florida High School Athletic Association -- the governing body for high school sports in the state -- reversed course after initially granting him a special waiver to play for another school last year.

The FHSAA withdrew the waiver without giving him a reason. His father told Local 10 News in March that he thought the FHSAA was "holding him back because he is autistic."

After Local 10 shared Guardarrama's story, the FHSAA granted him provisional eligibility.

Miami Christian School claimed its first state title since 1975.

photo