COMMERCE, Ga. - Although diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 18 months, Hayes Hutto has always dreamed of playing football.
On Saturday, the 10-year-old accomplished that dream, after scoring a touchdown in a game between the Commerce Tigers and Jefferson Dragons.
The football rivalry between Commerce and Jefferson is well-known in Jackson County, from the high school level to youth teams.
But there are some things that go beyond a rivalry.
His mother, Jodi Hutto, posted highlights on her Facebook page, which have gained thousands of views, and thanked the communities for giving her son the opportunity.
Hayes' dad, Jon Hutto, told Channel 2 Action News the family was attending the game before they knew Hayes would get a chance to play.
Jon Hutto teaches and coaches golf at Jefferson Middle School. Jodi Hutto is a fifth-grade teacher at Commerce Middle School. Hayes' cousin, Britton, is a player on the Jefferson 10U football team. So the rivalry runs deep in their family.
"We weren't expecting for anything to happen other than being on the sideline with the team. Coach said he was going to try to put him in," Jon Hutto said to Channel 2 Action News.
When Hayes told his friends he was coming, his best friend, Brody Coleman, and teammates presented him with his very own jersey on Friday.
Leslie Coleman, Brody's mom, sent Channel 2 Action News video of the special moment the best friends shared.
Jon Hutto said Hayes didn't get to play in the game until time ran out, but the Jefferson coach requested one final play. Chants of "Hut-to, Hut-to" erupted as Hayes scored his first touchdown.
"It's cool that both schools are huge rivals but were able to set that aside yesterday. Both stands were hollering and cheering," he said.
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