Excessive Heat Warning Issued for West Michigan

Boy with medical condition gets a rare chance to play football

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RAVENNA, Mich.-- Playing football with friends is a right of passage for most young boys but for one 10-year-old in Ravenna, that's never been possible because of a head injury he suffered as an infant.

Hayden Newey got a head injury when he was 2 months old and his doctors say his young age makes him more susceptible to getting another. That, along with the fact that his injury left him partially blind in one eye means Hayden isn't allowed to play contact sports like football, which happens to be his favorite sport.

“All season long he’s been watching these guys practice and play and you could tell in his eyes that it just, it kills him that he’s not out on that field with his teammates," says William Rolison, Hayden's uncle.

The sidelines were as far as Hayden was able to get until President of the Ravenna Youth Football Club Craig Rau heard about Hayden's limitations and knew he had to do something to allow him the right of passage of sharing the field with his friends.

“Football was my go-to when I was growing up and I can see the passion in Hayden’s eyes of how bad he wants to play and as soon as I heard that he wasn’t able to play, it immediately jumped right into my head," says Rau.

Rau made arrangements to allow Hayden to score a touchdown during halftime at a youth game on Saturday.

“Hayden will remember this for the rest of his life. I guarantee it," says Rau.

Hayden's family says he does get to play baseball because it's not a contact sport and that so far, he's a natural.

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