One football game last Saturday gave a Commerce fifth-grader a stage to play the sport he loves.
On Sept. 8, after Commerce Middle School and Jefferson Middle School had finished their game, the teams lined up at the 35-yard line for one more play.
They snapped the ball to fifth-grader Brody German, who passed it to Hayes Hutto, also in fifth grade at Commerce. He carried the ball down the field, appearing to slip by would-be tacklers just like any football player on his way to a touchdown.
Hayes took the ball 65 yards, all the way to the endzone, where he made sure to spike it.
Hayes, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, said in a January interview that his dream was to play football.
Though only 10, Hayes is a serious football fan born into a family of sports fans. He loves Clemson, Georgia, the Falcons and a wide array of other individual players, even when his two older brothers Hayden and Hampton rib him for cheering for so many teams.
“He’s a true fan of the sport,” said Jon Hutto, Hayes’ father and a special education teacher at Jefferson Middle School.
Jon said they did not know Hayes would be put in the game before arriving. When they got there, Hayes got the chance to lead the team out of the tunnel.
After the game ended, the Jefferson coaches asked the referees for extra time. The teams got in position, and that’s when Hayes took over.
Commerce Recreation Director Ricky Woodruff, the announcer, led the crowd in a cheer of “HUTT-O! HUTT-O!” as Hayes went down the field.
Afterward, they gave him the game ball.
Jon said Hayes was thrilled by the experience.
“That ball hasn’t left his side since he got home,” Jon said.
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