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Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 10:41 AM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers defensive linebacker Thomas Davis has made a huge donation to help the Harding University High School football team get its players and coaches championship rings.
Davis confirmed he donated $15,000 to the team in a tweet to WSOC-TV anchor John Paul.
👍🏾👍🏾— Thomas Davis (@ThomasDavisSDTM) December 15, 2017
The football team finished its 14-1 season with a 30-22 win over Scotland County in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4A State Championship game in Winston-Salem. It’s the first state championship for the team since 1953.
Head football coach Sam Greiner was on the radio Friday morning when Davis called in and said he would help. The football program was trying to figure out ways to purchase rings for its players who couldn't afford them.
The rings cost about $400 apiece, so the school was trying to raise about $20,000. A GoFundMe page was set up to help the team buy rings, which had raised nearly $7,000 by Friday morning.
When Greiner accepted the head coach position two years ago, the football program was one of the worst in the state -- winning just one game in both 2014 and 2015. The players didn't have uniforms until the coach’s church bought them. They still practice on a beat-up baseball field and have to dress behind the stands.
"If someone wrote a movie script about everything that's happened, they would think it's a fairy tale,” Greiner said. “They wouldn't think it's real life.”
WSOC-TV asked what expenses Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools cover and was told it provides for game officials, security and coaching stipends.
Everything else is up to the school, families or a booster club.
Harding doesn't have a booster club, and a majority of the students’ families don't have the money.
"We have kids on our rosters that don't really have homes,” Greiner said. “They really don't know what they're going to eat (from) day to day.”
Greiner and his church created a family before building a state championship-caliber team. The church provides meals before games and Greiner let his quarterback, Braheam Murphy, who was homeless, live with him.
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 7:58 AM
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — A Patriots fan whose wheelchair disappeared after last weekend’s playoff game in Foxborough received a new one from Robert Kraft before the start of Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.
Cindy Morais, of Tiverton, Rhode Island, was brought to tears when she was given the new wheelchair.
Kraft invited Morais and her family down to the field before the game to present her the new wheel char.
“It says ‘do your job,’ that’s from the locker room,” Kraft explained to Morais and her family Sunday.
The char also had her name on the back and was signed by all the players.
Morais' original wheel chair was eventually found in the stadium, but we’re pretty sure she's going to use the new one instead.
Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 8:18 PM
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 7:38 AM
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Dramatic video captured the moment a Georgia girl was thrown off a ladder and caught by a heroic firefighter weeks ago. Now, the two have reunited.
WSB-TV was there when DeKalb County Fire Capt. Scott Stroup met the girl this weekend.
The fire ripped through the Avondale Forest Apartments on Jan. 3.
Helmet camera video showed the moment the toddler was dropped down to a firefighter as the flames roared around them.
An estimated 50 people were left without a place to live after the massive fire at the Decatur apartment complex.
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 7:07 AM
ESSEX, Mass. — Three off-duty first responders were at the right place at the right time last Friday when they saved a man at a restaurant in Essex.
Essex Police Chief Peter Silva, retired Wenham Police Lieutenant Larry Kavanagh and Hamilton Deputy Police Chief Kirby Brand were having lunch at the Village Restaurant in Essex when an elderly man began choking on his burger.
The three have been close friends since 1985 and have lunch together every Friday, and luckily, they happened to be at one of their favorite spots when someone needed immediate help.
They had just ordered their food when a woman began screaming for help, and the three men immediately worked together to save a life.
"In a moments notice from across the room it goes to show it doesn’t matter whether your police or fire or whether youre just a citizen," said Silva.
Kavanagh and Brand delivered two abdominal thrusts to clear the man's airway as Chief Silva called in for more help.
Paramedics and first responders were quick to the scene, but by the time they arrived, the man had already been saved by the joint efforts of the three friends.
“There was no need for verbal communication we just knew something had to be done," said Kavanagh.
“Lucky we were here that particular day at that time the stars lined up and we were able to do our job," said Brand.