METAMORA - A birth defect might keep Austin Patterson from playing contact sports...but can't stop the Metamora football manager from living out his dream and suiting up for the Redbirds.
He's number one in the hearts of the Metamora football team. On Senior Night, Austin Patterson became number one in the program too. Head Coach Pat Ryan granted his manager a moment he'll never forget.
"He walked me into his office and said 'Austin you're going to be leading us out on the field," said Austin Patterson.
As the head coach puts it, because he deserves it.
"Life hasn't been perfect for him," said Pat Ryan, Metamora Head Coach. "His work ethic and how he approaches everyday is phenomenal."
"After a week of mentally preparing for the big game...
"Anxious, and kind of nervous too," said Austin Patteson. "I've never been out on the field before."
He did it for the first time.
"You know you always want to see the best for your siblings, and he is my motivation," said Ryan Patterson, Austin's twin brother. "Get him out on the field to be next to me. It was great."
"When I was actually really excited and when my adrenaline was pumping was when I got to catch my first punt," said Austin Patterson.
"I never thought I would see him out on the football field," said Julie Patterson, Austin's Mom. "It was a dream of his since he was 7 or 8 to be out there, dressed in football uniform. It's the most amazing feeling in the world."
"Not that I haven't had great nights before, but that was by far the greatest night of my life," said Austin Patterson.