Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

Football team makes sure elderly supporters get to watch homecoming parade

Winner, South Dakota, is a small town, and the high school's homecoming parade is a big deal. That's why when the entire Winner High School football team made sure everyone at the Winner Regional Healthcare Center Long-Term Care attended the parade, it left residents "flabbergasted."

Many of the elderly residents are alumni of Winner High School, and before the parade, they made pennants and pom-poms to cheer the team on. When the Winner football coach, Dan Aaker, was approached with the idea of helping get the residents to the parade route, he said the team was in and every player would be involved. The residents were "ecstatic" when the football players started streaming into the facility, ready to push them in their wheelchairs to and from the parade route, Jody Engel, hospital communications director, told ABC News.

"It's monumental to them," she said. Because Winner is such a small community, everyone supports one another, especially when it comes to the high school and its athletic teams. "To be able to participate in something that is so much a part of the thread of the community makes them feel real again," Engel said. "It's those normal everyday things they miss the most." Homecoming ended on a high note for the team, as well — they won 38-13. Catherine Garcia