Ohio high school football team invites bullied boy are sitting on the sidelines with them the whole season

Eight-year-old Taylan is surprised by the players of the Findlay High School football team, invites him to come along this season on the sidelines.

(Emily Buckman)

Taylan Orton has loved football for as long as he could remember, so he was incredibly excited to sign up for his first youth football league.

But the eight-year-old Ohio boy, who has cerebral palsy, was left in flood of tears in the middle of his first training session after he was yelled at by coaches, and being attacked by another boy.

His mother Carrie Wilmoth, who told the league about his condition in advance, said he cried himself to sleep that night and kept asking her why he wasn’t good enough.

Taylan flexes his muscles in his football gear.

(Carrie Wilmoth)

Wilmoth shared a heartbreaking experience in a Facebook post that went viral.

One of those moved by the post was a local football coach wife, Emily Buchman, who came up with an idea for a lift Taylan of the spirits.

On Wednesday, several Findlay High School football players surprised Taylan at lunch, invited him to join them on the sidelines for every home game this season, and gave him a poster which said: “Taylan come hang out with us Friday nights”.

“Hey, do you want to come hang out with us on match days?” one of the players asked him.

Taylan said “Yes” and screamed out of excitement before she took a group photo.

Taylan celebrates after Findlay High School football players invited him to join them on the sidelines this season.

(Emily Buckman)

“This means the world to him after all what happened,” Wilmoth said.


Taylan wanted to tell everyone about how he was the coolest kid in the canteen,” she said, adding that he went to sleep with the poster in his bed.

Taylan laughs with the Findlay High School football players after they surprised him at lunch.

(Emily Buckman)

Needless to say, Taylan looking forward to get back on the football field, even if it is on the sidelines.

Wilmoth said the Ohio-based company “Friends Against Bullies” has helped them through the process.

“We are so grateful for all the support Taylan has gotten from everyone who has shared his post to raise awareness about bullying,” Wilmoth told Fox News. “Bullying is never O. K. and just because you can’t see that a disability does not mean that it is not there!”

Findlay High School Director of Athletics, Nate Weihrauch, told Fox News they wanted to do something encouraging for Taylan as soon as they heard his story.

“As a team, and district, we encourage our players and students to be positive role models on and off the field,” Weihrauch said. “We believe character is important and this was an opportunity to just help someone. We are blessed to be huge children in our community who are willing to make a positive difference.”

Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihali also celebrated Taylan surprise.


“This is great!” Mihalik told Fox News. “I am so proud of our football players, I can hardly stand it. We are a very blessed community.”

Caleb Parke is an associate editor for You can follow him on Twitter @calebparke

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