MANCHESTER, GA (WTVM) – Young football players often have dreams of going pro, but what happens when those dreams are taken away?
Manchester High School is enjoying a dream season- undefeated and the top 1-A team in Georgia.
They dedicated their season to one man, a senior who's dreams of playing with them were cut short.
While the Blue Devils fight for a state title, Markelron Mosley, a man they call "Mo," is fighting his own battle.
Football's always been in Markelron Mosley's life.
"I started off thinking about playing pro," said Markelron Mosley.
"He's been playing ever since he was like six years old. He always wanted to go pro and his dream school was Alabama," said Katricia Mosley, Mo's mother.
He grew up with a passion for the game and a love for his teammates.
"Ever since middle school when I met my teammates, all my friends. I love playing with them so, we all went through it, we all were going to grind together and try to make it," Mo said.
Then came time for high school, a chance to suit up on Friday nights as a Manchester Blue Devil.
With that came unexpected news his freshman year in 2014.
"I went for a physical and my blood pressure was up. The doctor was telling me I had protein, and I was losing protein," Mo said.
"He had to have a kidney biopsy when he was a freshman," said Mosley.
That biopsy revealed that Mo had nephrotic syndrome, a disease requiring a kidney transplant.
Things were fine for Mo the next few years. He continued doing what he loved- playing under the lights of Manchester Memorial Stadium.
He prepared to play his senior season, until this past summer, when he received more bad news.
"We found out in June, they told us then that he had to have a kidney. That his kidney was slowly going into kidney failure," said Mosley.
"I was hurt. I was sad. I didn't know what it meant, I didn't know what it was. My doctor explained it to me. I just took it in, and this is what I got, I'm going to try to fight it," said Mo.
"At first I was like 'okay we'll get over it.' But now it's kind of like scarce and scary because the list is very very very long for a kidney. It's like a waiting game now," said Mosley.
Facing a tough battle, Mo's attacking it with a football player's mentality, not giving up if the game's still going.
"I just took it in, and this is what I got, I'm going to try to fight it. Waiting to get the transplant done. Going to get that out of the way, have a better kidney, better life, not struggling anymore," said Mo.
His football career is over, but his contribution to the team is just beginning.
Mo still goes to practice, still pushes his teammates, and shows them how to keep fighting.
"He makes me strong because I could be in his position and I don't think I could take it like he could take it so. He really showed me how to be strong when something isn't going your way," said Jontavious Ferguson, a senior linebacker.
"I'm just going to tell them, you can't always think about the bad things. You're always going to get something good out of it anyway it goes so just keep your head up, look forward," said Mo.
While he waits for a much-needed kidney transplant, Mo's going to keep flashing his smile, show off his personality, and try to motivate everyone else.
"I'm gonna smile. He's still smiling, I'm gonna smile. Now that he's motivated, I have to stay motivated and strong," said Mosley.
This year, Manchester made Mo a team captain for each game and put helmet stickers to remind them of their teammate.
Mo said now that football's over for him, he wants to own his own business one day.
Mo's classmates named him homecoming king last Friday night.
Next, he prepares for dialysis treatment on Monday.