Dacula High School Football Team Cheers Gwinnett Heat On To Victory
The Dacula Falcons football team had the opportunity to support the Gwinnett Heat, the county's adapted-sports program.
Perhaps you didn't hear about it, but a local football team won a state championship this past weekend. That's right -- the Gwinnett Heat, a team in Gwinnett county’s adapted sports program, won the 2011 football title on Saturday and there to cheer them on were members of the Dacula High School football team.
Coach Jared Zito wanted his team to be involved in a sports-related community project, so he called Mike Phillips, coordinator of adapted sports for Gwinnett County Public Schools. At Phillips' suggestion, the Falcons showed up to lend enthusiastic support for the Heat as they played their playoff games.
"Our guys made signs for the players and cheered them on, it was great," said Zito. "After the game we all went down on the floor to say congratulations and take some pictures. I was proud of our guys."
The Heat responded to the cheers of the Falcons and won both games that day to take the state championship.
"To be honest, it was the first time I had been to one of their games and I was so impressed with how it is run as well as how good of athletes they all were," Zito said.
The cheers of Dacula High School's football players were a blessing for sure, but in reality all who participate in such community support end up being blessed as well.
"It was a great experience for both groups," said Mike Phillips. "For Dacula, it showed them how blessed they are to be able to play a sport without having a physical disability. For the Heat, it gives them an opportunity to show their peers that they are athletes too and that they can compete in spite of their disability."
"I believe it is crucial to teach our players to care about others more than themselves," said Zito. "In our society today we have too many people worried
about how things only impact them personally. I think it is important to
teach our players to be selfless as much as possible. It also is important for our players to remember that they get the opportunity every day to do what others would give anything in the world to do."
The presence of the Dacula High football team at the Gwinnett Heat's playoffs is something coach Zito plans to make a tradition as he seeks for his team to make a positive impact in the community.