RINGGOLD, Ga. — A special moment from a local high school football has captured hearts across the country.
Drive to any football game with Heritage High School and you will quickly notice its senior manager.
Logan Pickett, 18, does not feel at home and struggles in new situations. His mother, Danielle, said he’s been diagnosed with autism. His answers, and attention, are short. He might not seem like the one to bring a whole crowd to tears until you see what that crowd brings out in Logan.
“The football field, that’s his element,” Danielle Pickett said.
Danielle Pickett learned very early her son’s diagnosis. She wanted Logan to make connection. When he reached middle school, she signed him up to be team manager.
“If he was ever being bullied, that he would have the whole football team behind him to defend him if he needed it,” Danielle Pickett said.
He has never needed it.
On the field, Logan is known for his catch phrase — “Let me hear you” – and his spirit.
He has become an irreplaceable part of Heritage game day, but not in the game itself.
Until last week.
“I was like, ‘I wonder if he would want to get out there on the field, you know,” said Heritage coach E.K. Slaughter.
He reached sixty miles south to another coach — Joey King of top-ranked Cartersville High School, their next opponent, to see if they’d let Logan run against them.
“My first response was, ‘Absolutely, yes,’ you know? What an opportunity for our guys and their guys to realize this game’s a whole lot bigger than what we do on Friday nights,” said King.
On that Friday night, Logan walked out with the Heritage captains. Late in the game, his team down six touchdowns, Logan walked out again so he could run.
Logan made it all the way to end zone – scoring a touchdown for his team and finding himself in the arms of his teammates.
“It was like it was slow motion all the way to the end zone…and when the team picked him up, that was just priceless,” said Danielle Pickett. “No matter what was on the scoreboard, everybody was a winner that night.
That night and the next day, the news spread fast over social media, all highlighting the beautiful moment. But the beauty behind the moment is in the love that enabled it — the love that has let Logan find his home.
“There’s never enough words that I could say to thank them for what they’ve done for him,” his mother said.
Logan didn’t just score against Cartersville’s back-up players; he earned his touchdown against the team’s starters.