Indians find inspiration from 10 year old - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Indians find inspiration from 10 year old

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JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) -

Head coach Chris Tabor handed out new uniforms in Jacksonville.

But the Indians were not taking them to the football field.

"If I can make an impact on someone else's life, regardless of on or off the field, that means I am doing something right," said junior quarterback Carter McCown.

Three weeks ago, a single picture on Facebook caught the eye of McCown.

It's a picture of 10 year old Hunter Johnson, all smiles, in his wheelchair after completing a 5K in Athens.

He did it, despite suffering from spina bifida and heart problems.

It inspired McCown to reach out to the family.

"I contacted her [Hunter's mom], with the hopes that we could come visit," said McCown. "When I brought it up and she got excited about it, that just made it all better."

"I think it is a great thing that we are going to visit him," said senior Trent Sansom. I'm excited to meet him."

Hours after their first practice, nine Indians loaded up in the parking lot.

With them was the same excitement as a Friday night, heading to Hunter's house to surprise him.

"I don't know if he is more exited or I am more excited," said Sanson.

When they arrived, Hunter's face said it all.

There was nothing but smiles.

"It is refreshing to see that these young guys are coming along," said Rich Johnson, Hunter's father. "here are still some good kids out there that, heck, took some time to come see our son."

The team delivered Hunter an autographed football, team wristbands and a message.

"That we have something more to fight for, more than each other, we have him to fight for and that family to fight for," said McCown. "And every other family that is not a fortunate as us to fight for."

"And if he believes in himself," said senior LeKendrick Anderson. "Then we are here to show him that we believe in him too."

In the end, all it took was a single picture to inspire an entire team.

They, in turn, are inspiring one young boy.

"Anything that he has dealt with in the past and that he will deal with in the future, he is going to look back on this and think about what they said," said Tonya Johnson, Hunter's mother. "That you can make it and not to give up. I think he is going to take this and it is going to get him through any obstacle he will be facing."

"To be a blessing to anyone, it is what you are here for," said McCown.

As a bonus, they picked up a new fan, along the way.

The team also invited Hunter to lead them onto the field during a game this upcoming year.

The Indians open the season on August 31st at home against Carthage.

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