Walnut Ridge Bobcats welcome new player

Walnut Ridge Bobcats welcome new player

WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) - Walnut Ridge Bobcat football fans welcomed a new player to the team on Friday.

A senior high disabled student, Jake Hollister, wanted to be a part of the football team and Friday evening he got his chance.

"He's been saying the past two weeks or so he wanted to play football and he's been talking to the coaches so we got him a jersey and he came out, " player Martin Crisler said.

During the home opener Jake held the hands of 2 of his new teammates and they took the field for the first time this year.

The crowd and Jake's family were shocked as he led the Bobcats onto the field in what would be the team's first win for the season.

"It was real loud at first and then everybody got quiet because they were in shock and then all the ahs and ohs, they liked it," player Drake Smith said.

Although the crowd was extremely excited to see Jake on the team, his teammates were more excited to have him join.

The players say Jake's energy is what keeps them going during tense or exhausting times. 

"He's part of the team now, we enjoy having him. It's fun going into the locker room at half time when we are tense, you see him there and he cracks a joke with you and just lightens you up a bit," player Will Weir said.

Jake's mother said she is so pleased to see Jake be a part of the team and she thanks the players and coaches for welcoming him.

His mother also said the school is hoping to get Jake some pads to go along with his new jersey.

Region 8 asked Jake how he felt about being announced as a new player Friday night and his response was simple, "I like football."

Jake is a permanent member of Bobcat football now and will continue to walk out with the team, stand on the sidelines during the game and, like any good player would, encourage his teammates along the way.

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