DALLAS, Ga. -- At Paulding County High School, Scott Hamilton is quietly helping his school become more caring and compassionate.
As the head football coach, he's creating superstars out of the special needs students and it's carrying-over to the entire student body.
At the start of the day, during a home game, Hamilton surprises at least one special needs student with a football shirt signaling the day of honor, he calls "Player of the Day" or POD.
Not only do they love it. So, does the entire school.
"They (special needs students) are like part of the team, We don't get a chance to see our kids, like the other parents. I can't believe I'm crying. It's hard to even say. It's very touching," said Marion Bishop Fowler, mom of Levi Bishop, a special needs student chosen as POD on a recent day, along with Austin Beal.
"It's really the highlight of my day. Win or lose. It's the highlight of my day. Because they have a smile on their face regardless.
At the beginning of a home game day, Hamilton surprises at least one special needs student with a football shirt signaling the day of honor. They just love it.
The POD students beam and shine the rest of the day. They truly are part of the team, from the pep rally to the workout to getting on the bus to the pre-game dinner.
They even run out on the field with the players at the start of the game.
"You know, it just changes their view of the school. This is their chance to be part of everybody else. They get to hear everybody clap for them and stuff," said Hamilton.
Year after year, all thanks to Coach Hamilton.
"He's making a positive impact on the special needs students, on the football team on the parents, on the community, because we're creating better people as they leave this and go out into the world," said Don Breedlove, Athletic Director of Paulding County Schools, who nominated Hamilton for 11Alive's Class Act Award.
"It makes them (his football players) a lot more empathetic to special needs plight in life. So, they accept them," said Hamilton.
"I don't think Coach Hamilton realizes what it does for them. And us," said Dana Beal, Austin's mom.