Saturday, August 29, 2009

Grandpa Announces Taylor's Football Games

As he did last season, Grandpa is announcing Taylor's home football games for the Gladiators this year. As he likes to announce, there are three generations there...Grandpa announcing, J.J. coaching (he's the offensive coach), and Taylor playing. They all do a good job, and the team does really well!

Before the team started this season, J.J. met Jonathan Terrell (who has autism/aspergers) and his Dad at a game at South Forsyth High School. J.J. found out that Jonathan loved football, and he wrote his Dad an e-mail asking if Jonathan would like to be presented with a jersey, be an honorary captain, and help as water boy. Grandpa was asked to announce his name, and they made a ceremony of presenting him with a jersey. J.J. got the following e-mail after the game and forwarded to Grandpa with thanks for his part.

"What an incredible experience Jonathan had Saturday evening. You, the entire coaching team, the players and so many more made a once-in-a-lifetime impression on my son. Jonathan had an awesome time and I have no words that can express my heart-felt gratitude for all you did...thanks so very much! My wife (Brenda) and I have focused so much over the years on Jonathan's medical needs, therapies, etc.; we never have experienced such an outpouring of support for our son. Often, Jonathan will simply be ignored or avoided because of the quirkiness associated with his autism/aspergers...Saturday night he got to experience a moment in the spotlight (a moment I'm sure he will not soon forget). He may never be able to fully express what he felt on Saturday, but I can tell you without a made a difference. Also, please let your son know how much I appreciate him coming over to encourage Jonathan throughout the day...I know how difficult that can be for a kid to reach out to an atypical peer (your son is a winner on AND off the field). Davis and others on the field were also incredible...we look forward to cheering you guys on as the season continues."

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