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Grand Haven football program celebrates a special moment

Josh VanDyke • Oct 12, 2018 at 12:30 AM

GRAND HAVEN TWP. — The Grand Haven junior varsity football team celebrated in the endzone after a long touchdown run to begin their game against East Grand Rapids on Thursday night at Gene Rothi Field.

A crowd of players and coaches celebrated around Grand Haven sophomore Cal Coyne, who finished the run in jubilation.

Coyne, who has autism, has been with the Buccaneer program since the summer.

"He is a kid in one of my classes," said Grand Haven junior varsity head coach Jeremy Wiebenga. "I brought him along early on, but the kids have accepted him right away. They also help him get to practice every day after school, they sit with him at lunch, and they generally just treated him really well. It's just an awesome thing to see."

In their last home game of the season, Weibenga wanted to make sure Coyne got a chance to really feel like he was part of the team.

"This was our last chance to have him get into one of our games, because he doesn't travel to road games with us," he added. "We wanted to make it a special moment in front of our home crowd, and I don't think it could have gone much better.

"Since he's been with us, he's taught us more than we could ever teach him. He's an outstanding young man, and I couldn't be happier for him. It's something I'm sure he'll never forget, and it's something all of us are happy we could be a part of."

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