Local student honored at Bay High Football game

Published: Oct. 16, 2022 at 11:56 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Joshua Williams got his moment under the Friday Night lights, and it all started with him getting a jersey and helmet from Bay High’s Head Football Coach.

“His mom reached out to me a couple of weeks ago and said coach I am trying to find him a helmet to bring to the game and this and that and we can’t find one. I said we got some extra helmets to bring him up here one Sunday and we will get him fitted and in one,” Coach Jeremy Brown said.

Since Josh got his helmet his mom said he hasn’t gone anywhere without it.

“He has not let it go. I was like Josh you cannot take a bath with that helmet Josh. Coach, can you tell josh to take the helmet off? He is playing video games and he can’t see I am like pull it up a little. So he is really attached to it. It sleeps by him,” Devinya Murphy, Josh’s mom said.

When Coach Brown heard from Josh’s mom about his excitement over the helmet, he got an idea to do something even more special.

“You know a couple of days went by and I was like man how awesome would it be if we let him lead us out through the tunnel,” Coach Brown said.

Running through the tunnel before the game is exactly what Josh got to do this Friday night. He wore his brother’s number, 75, and ran out alongside his brother who is a Senior at Bay High.

“So to watch him and know what he went through as far as sports are concerned it blessed my heart on a lot of levels,” Murphy said.

A blessing Murphy said she does not take for granted. Josh being included meant the world to her, especially with all of the support he received.

“People who were including Josh like they were coming from the sidelines the team players. I got chills every time I saw it happen,” Murphy said.

“As much fun as he had it was an unbelievable experience watching him coming through that tunnel watching how our players rallied around him and they were just it touched them and it touched a lot of people,” Coach Brown said.

Coach Brown also said that it is a lesson for his players to be grateful that they get to be out there on the field each week.

“We told them and said guys you take for granted the opportunities that you have just to play this game. You know guys like Josh would give anything in the world to come out and play this game,” Coach Brown said.

Josh’s mom said he rarely misses a game. But Friday night is a game he will never forget.

Murphy also runs the organization ‘Delayed not Denied.’ She said that it is an organization for kids with special needs and disabilities to make sure everyone is included.