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Victory Day 2012 Was Filled With Touchdowns, Touching Moments

Wyandotte's Iain Smith was amongst the more than 60 cognitively and physically impaired children from Downriver schools who partook in the 3rd annual Victory Day on Saturday.

The sound of banging drums and speakers echoing into the sky took over Trenton High School's Farrer Field on Saturday for a football game unlike any other played this season.

Much of the day was filled with sounds normally heard at a football game except the crack of a tackle was replaced with the sound of children laughing and realizing a lifelong dream of playing football—it was .

Victory Day, created by , gives special needs children a chance to score a touchdown, with all the fanfare of a real game.

Lloyd Carr, former head football coach for the University of Michigan, kicked the day off with a stirring tribute to Victory Day.

"It's not only growing here, but throughout this state and across the country," Carr said. "This idea has spread from here, and the guy who came up with that is a hero of mine—Aaron Segedi."

Wyandotte's Iain Smith was amongst the little guys skilled enough to put six points onto the scoreboard. While he enjoyed scoring that touchdown, it wasn't the part he said he'll remember the most.

"It was really fun," the seventh grader said. "It was nice to be with the football players. My favorite part of the day was slamming the dummy so hard that it hit the ground."

All participants received jerseys donated by Nike, and boys received souvenir footballs while girls received pom poms.

The sidelines were packed with more than 60 cognitively and physically impaired children clapping and cheering on one another as football players from area high schools took the field in unity to help each child score a touchdown.

The Marching Band played with all of the intensity of a real game and cheerleaders shouted spirited chants to spur on children as they crossed the goal line.

The day ended with a ceremony in which all participants were presented with a medal of achievement by Carr and Segedi.

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