West Rusk Student gets to Meet Johnny Football

West Rusk Principal Brian Keith helped one of his students meet his hero this past weekend at the A&M-Missouri game. Francisco Bazaldua was down on the sidelines when he got to meet Johnny Football. Here's the story Mr. Keith and his wife Sharon sent to Texas A&M.

My husband (Brian Keith) is a high school principal, and one of his students saw a picture of our two boys with Johnny after the Alabama game (my youngest became friends with Johnny last year when they had several classes together). The student, who is 17 and has muscular dystrophy, wrote Johnny a letter and asked my husband if he could get it to Johnny. We scanned the letter and picture, and sent it to my son, telling him we would bring the original when we came to the Sam Houston game. In turn, my son sent Johnny a text and within a minute got a response. Johnny told my son he was going to sign a football and wanted to get it to the student.

I told my husband that he ought to get in touch with someone and try to get tickets to the Mizzou game for this student and his teacher. To make a long story short, he emailed the athletic department, and in the end, not only did they get tickets, they got to walk in the "Spirit Walk" with the band and the team, we all 4 got sideline passes before the game, and after the game, the teacher and student were invited in the locker room. If you watched the game on ESPN, you may have seen a picture of Johnny and Ryan Swope with a young man in a wheel chair. That was the student! The story behind that picture is this: Johnny recognized the student from the picture he sent, waved at him and walked over and shook his hand. Then, called Ryan over to get in the picture with them. The student also had his picture taken with Coach Sumlin, and "Manny" from "Modern Family."

I would like to thank the TAMU Athletic Department and Jeff Schmaul for making this all possible. And of course, thanks to Johnny for the football. There truly is a "spirit that can ne'er be told."


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