Rival teams come together for special player's first touchdown

Student with special needs scores touchdown

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. -- Two schools came together to help an incredible student with special needs score his first touchdown.

Derek Baughan has been trying to get to the end zone all year. And on the last play of a recent game, that's exactly what he did.

Derek already had the support of his own teammates but what he didn't have was a touchdown.

He's a junior at Whitewater High School and has an intellectual disability.

But more important than that - he's a valued member of the schools' junior varsity football team. So at the last game of the season, they wanted him to be the Most Valuable Player.

So they hatched a plan with - of all people - their opposing team.

Whitewater High teamed up with Newnan High to help this key player score his first touchdown.

Days later, his teammates are still cheering him on.

"They told me I was touchdown TD," he said. "I did an awesome job!"

Head coach Bryan Holley said his players wanted Derek on their team.

"It's very humbling and heartwarming to see our kids rally behind him because they generated that themselves - that's all from them," Holley said.

The video of Derek's amazing run made the rounds at Whitewater High and even his teacher teared-up watching it.

"I cried a little bit because I knew how much it meant to him," one teacher, Tommy Collins said. "And it means a lot to me just how accepted h's been on the team."

Derek is just glad he could help his team out and get that final touchdown of the season.

"It makes me feel awesome," he said. "I have more honor - I feel good about myself."

Derek will be a senior next year and the coach told me he already has a spot on the varsity team.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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