More than 50 kids from Downriver special needs schools came out to for a memorable event called "Victory Day" where they experienced a day as a football player or cheerleader.
There were cameras aplenty, journalists everywhere, a few tears shed, and smiles too many to count.
The day is set up where each child is matched up with a mentor, boys with a Trojan football player and girls with a Trojan cheerleader. The girls cheered with their mentors on the sideline while the boys threw passes, tackled dummies, ran in and out of cones and then the highlight—every child got to line up at the 40-yard line against the Trojan "defense" and run for a touchdown.
Former University of Michigan head football coach Lloyd Carr attended and addressed the crowd before the fun and distributed medals to each participant after everything wrapped up.
The marching band also played a role by forming a tunnel for pre-game introductions, playing the national anthem, and helping some of the kids with musical interests to experience the band side of high school football.
"It took a lot of people and there were a lot of dynamics but it was a beautiful day," Trojan varsity football assistant coach and event coordinator Aaron Segedi said.
Josephine Brighton Work Skills Center, the Madison/Downriver Regional Trainable Center or the Lincoln Center—Downriver schools for students who are physically or cognitively impaired or autistic—brought even more kids than last year and Segedi brought more players to help. Joining the Trenton students in the day's festivities were some of the top players from Woodhaven, Carlson, and Wyandotte.
"Everyone did such a good job and the kids from Trenton, Woodhaven, Wyandotte, and Carlson were absolutely phenomenal," Segedi said. "Last year, I was so busy making sure everything was going right and where they needed to be. But this year, I was able to sit back and just watch more. And man, the look on these kids' faces. We made some days today."
"I love watching the kids do what our kids take for granted," Trojan head coach Bob Czarnecki said. "Watching them come out of that tunnel is so special."