Anthony Rath, a 12-year-old fifth-grader who played for Newport Heights Elementary in the 13th annual Daily Pilot Cup, has anaridia. That means he has no irises and is legally blind.
Anthony cannot really see much more than 10 or 15 feet in front of him. Yet despite being born with that disability, the dark-blonde boy with the spiky flat-top haircut from Newport Beach, is able to not only get by in sports and in life. He is thriving.
Anthony was among several unique stories at the Pilot Cup. The forward was one of several boys and girls who embodied the spirit of the weeklong soccer tournament.
He had three shots on goal during Saturday's quarterfinal game, one of which came close to going in for a goal. He has played soccer since he was old enough to play.
Anthony was a champion long before the Pilot Cup. And, he also became a champion at the tournament. The Newport Heights boys' team Anthony played for won the fifth- and sixth-grade silver division title in dramatic fashion. Newport Heights won on PKs, 4-2, against St. John the Baptist.