FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. - Two Fayette County high school football teams worked together to help a dedicated player with special needs score an unforgettable touchdown.
Junior Derek Baughan is a proud member of the Whitewater High School junior varsity football team and attends every single practice.
"He loves football and is a fun, loving student," said Tommy Collins, who teaches the Community Based Vocational Instruction program at Whitewater High in the special education department.
On Thursday, October 20, during a JV game against Newnan High School, Whitewater coaches worked with the opposing team on an extra special play.
"The coaches setup for Derek to score a touchdown on the last play," Mr. Collins told FOX 5. "The reaction by the players from both teams was pretty amazing."
Mr. Collins said after Derek scored the touchdown, both teams rushed to the end zone to help him celebrate.
"It was an awesome sight to see."
Collins said the entire football team has rallied around Derek and treats him as a full member of the team.
"For his birthday, some of the team took him out for pizza and gave him some presents," Derek's teacher said. "The boys did this all on their own. One of the gifts was a pair of red Nike's that I don't think he has taken off since."
Collins said it's awesome to see a culture of acceptance spreading among young people.
"One of our clubs at school that works with our students with special needs has coined the term 'redefining acceptance' and I think that is exactly what is happening here."
Whitewater High may have lost to Newnan on the evening of Derek's big play, but both teams went home winners.