Roswell High School Hornets Football team has established a new tradition for taking the field before games on Friday nights.
Football Coach and Special Education Teacher Scott Hamilton has a "unique tradition" with his teams that he carried over from his previous school.
The idea for introducing students to this started in Paulding County, where Hamilton previously taught and coached.
Each week, one of Hamilton's Community-Based Instruction students is chosen to wear a team jersey and join the team for the pre-game run onto the field.
Community-Based Instruction is "a program for students with intellectual disabilities that teaches real-life skills in the classroom and also allows for practice in the community," said the news release.
According to the news release, "parents and students praised CBI students’ participation in athletic activities."
“The kids in my program get to do something that they may never have a chance to accomplish,” said Coach Scott Hamilton.
“They become part of the school’s fabric," he said.
He describes "what may be an ordinary weekly football game for some, is an empathy-building opportunity for players."
“This tradition helps students put themselves in other people’s shoes, while also allowing them to build caring relationships with their peers,” said Coach Hamilton.
Hamilton noted that friendships have been established between players and students and they extend beyond game day.
According to Hamilton, on any given day, those entering his classroom will see not only his students, but also "up to 10 or 12 football players talking to the kids in the CBI program."
"It shows the world that a player can be a tough guy, but still be a caring and empathetic man," he said.
Roswell High School’s leadership and community also appreciate Coach Hamilton’s thoughtfulness.
“Our community gets to see kids at a regular school event on the big stage that they otherwise may never get to see,” said Roswell High Principal Dr. Robert Shaw.
Shaw expressed “it’s not uncommon for students to share that this experience has been one of the best they’ve had.”
The next opportunity for Hornets Football fans to witness this experience is on Oct. 26 when Roswell takes on the Woodstock Wolverines.