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Nighthawks and Special Olympics Athletes Show Perseverance Through Football

The Wichita Falls Nighthawks may be in their off season, but they made an exception and hit the field Saturday to team up with Special Olympics, and let the athletes experience playing in the big leagues.
The Wichita Falls Nighthawks may be in their off season, but they made an exception and hit the field Saturday to team up with Special Olympics, and let the athletes experience playing in the big leagues.

They ran onto the field with an introduction any pro player would enjoy and it was clear these Special Olympians felt like they had just been drafted.

After the coin toss the players took position trying to take down the other team's flags, and the athletes who didn't play cheered on their teammates.

Wichita Falls Nighthawks players hit the field along side the athletes, and Nighthawks Cheerleaders taught some of the girls how to show their team spirit.

Cheerleader Holly Cannon says she loves getting involved with the athletes because as she teaches them, they teach her.

“It doesn't matter who you are, what you do or where you go in life, be you and that's all that matters,” says Cannon.

And the girls weren't the only ones cheering, family and friends came out to support the athletes.

“They are an asset to Wichita Falls and it's important that we come out and support them in the things that they do in their life,” says Ruth Denman.

Denman came to support her family member, number 95 Ashley Denman.

“We love her so much and we support her in her life and the things that she loves to do, she loves to play football so it's fun to come out and support her and cheer her on,” says Denman.

Her family members traveled in from out of town to watch the game because she says making the athletes feel at home is most important.

“It's a team event and it's important that she feel a part of our community and something like this is a great opportunity she and her teammates in that,” says Denman.

And as the game wraps up, it's clear it's not about who wins.

All the proceeds from the game went to the Special Olympics of North Texas.
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