High School Football Team Steps Up with Awesome Show Of Support
Eight year old Taylan Orton has been a football fan as long as anyone can remember. He’d watch any game on television and followed the local high school teams whenever he could. So, when the time came that Tylan was old enough to join a squad himself, he didn’t hesitate…despite the fact that he has cerebral palsy.
Sadly though, according to his Mom’s Facebook post, Tylan’s football experience went south quickly. On August 17th, Carrie Wilmoth, Taylan’s Mom, shared the following:
I am writing this is hopes of getting awareness out. Taylan wanted to join football this year. I was reluctant to sign him up because I know he can’t do everything other kids can but he wanted to do it so I told him we would try. We told the president when we signed him up he has medical issues, put it on his forms and I spoke to the head coach on the first day of practice explaining that he has Cerebral Palsy and it sometimes can make it hard on his gross and fine motor. Yesterday at practice I witnessed the most sickening display of coaching. There was 5 coaches and a youth helper. The first thing I noticed was a kid push him out of his way. They were doing drills and Taylan was doing his best, The coaches were yelling at him because he couldn’t do them. Now don’t get me wrong I’m all for yelling at a kid not listening or slacking off. But not a child with a disability trying his best. He was sent to the other group because he wasn’t able to do what they wanted. He went to the other group and as he was standing there out of no where another kid pushed him to the ground. Coaches around did nothing.
Shortly after Taylan left the group and came up for water he was crying hysterically and threw his helmet down and said he hated football and quits. One of the helpers came over and was trying to talk to him but he wouldn’t talk. I asked him what happened and it took a while to get him to calm down. After he was calm he said that kid told him he was a loser and was going to make them lose. I was irate and we left. Taylan cried himself to sleep last night asking why he wasn’t good enough. No kid should ever feel like that leaving a YOUTH sports organization!! Today I contacted the president to voice my concerns and try to make him aware of the issues. I was told “coaches are going to coach and they are going to yell”, when I brought up the fact he has cerebral palsy and can’t do everything he said he was unaware (I have the screen shot where we told him). When I brought up bullying he said ” kids will be kids” and to ” not use his disability to single him out” It was just excuse after excuse and never once apologized. Luckily he is the sweetest kid who can smile through anything and is going to be ok. Spread awareness not all disabilities can be seen and just because someone is different does not mean you treat them different. Bullying is NEVER okay not at any age!!!!
Of course, hundreds of people reacted to Carrie’s post, shocked and saddened by the treatment Taylan received.
But, as often happens with social media, more than just Carrie’s friends learned of the Taylan’s difficult experience. In fact, Emily Buchman, whose husband is local football coach, saw the post and decided to try to do something to help lift Taylan’s spirits.
A few days later, several Findlay High School football players surprised Taylan at lunch. Not only did they come say hello to him but they also invited him to join them on the sidelines for every home game this season! They presented him with a poster that said: “Taylan come hang out with us Friday nights.” Here’s the heart-warming video:
“Hey, do you wanna come hang with us on game days?” one of the players asked him.
Taylan said “Yeah” and screamed with excitement before they took a group photo.
According to a story on theie local Fox News, Quarterback Tanner Rickle (12) said it was just amazing for their team to surprise Taylan at lunch. Teammates Steven Gerdemann (61), Parker Fetterman (3), Mitchell Taylor (29), and Grant Morman (24) were also able to make the trip to Taylan’s school.
“Honestly it was just amazing! Just to see the look on his face,” Rickle said. “Football’s an amazing sport, and we’re all taught by our coaches, teachers, and families to do the right thing and that was just our one small opportunity to do that.”
We just love this story and are feeling #MomPride for those young men who stepped up to raise Taylan’s spirits. Well done, boys!