Caledonia freshman with cerebral palsy becomes honorary player

Kent County

CALEDONIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Dakota Tomac started helping out with the basketball team at Caledonia Middle School. He can’t physically play on the team due to his cerebral palsy, but he still loves the game and loves to help.

“They made me an honorary player and gave me this jersey,” Tomac said of how his time with the players evolved. 

When those players became high school freshman, Tomac started helping out with the football team as well. The players told him they wanted him to be around helping out until they graduated. They are now seniors and Dakota is a freshman, still an honorary member of the team as planned.  

Watching her son’s involvement in a sport he won’t get to play has meant everything to Angel Atwood, Dakota’s mom.

“For him to be able to be a part of a team has been great. These guys love him. They call him ‘Coach D’ even when we see them around town,” she said. “He loves it. He’s happy. He’s part of a team and feels like he’s any other kid.”

Tomac is excited to go to a playoff game with his team, which will happen the last week of October. He plans to continue giving pep talks when players are feeling down and help out wherever he can be an inspiration, which is more than he realizes. 

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