A Touchdown to Remember

Two middle school football programs teaming up to help a little boy and his parents’ dreams come true
Two middle school football programs teamed up to help a little boy defeat the odds.
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 5:51 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 3, 2022 at 6:17 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - When the St. Anne Pacelli Vikings hosted the St. Luke Lions, there was a moment for everyone to witness something bigger than football.

During the Fifth and Sixth grade team matchup, an honorary touchdown was scored by ten-year-old, Nathan Martin, for the Lions.

Both teams came to the agreement to have Saint Luke’s Head Coach, Kevin Martin’s son do something doctors say he would never have the chance to do--rushing the ball into the end zone.

“Because of Pacelli and St. Luke, we were given a special life experience for Nathan,” says Coach Martin.

At the three months old, Nathan contracted Bacterial Meningitis. Nathan is nonverbal, deaf, and is diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy, leaving him unable to walk. Nathan can crawl, something Coach Martin says is a blessing.

“Having a son with special needs, we are limited in what ‘life experiences’ we can have,” says Martin, “Nathan scoring an honorary touchdown was a blessing and a gift to our family.”

Nathan was pushed past defense with the help of his dad and quarterback for the Lions.

Seeing Nathan score a touchdown is something St. Luke’s player, Collin Dockery, was proud to be a part of.

”It was amazing. It made me tear up I almost cried and I wanted to win that game for him,” says Dockery.

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