Saturday, October 4, 2008

Proud to live in Dublin, Ohio

Something amazing happened in Dublin this past week. Something that made me very proud to live in this community....the most popular kid in school was voted Homecoming King at Dublin Coffman High School. This story was cheered in our family, as we have each been affected by this young man.

A few years ago, Ian played baseball in the Dublin Youth Athletics league. His team wore the uniforms of the Detroit Tigers. Even though he initially had no real connection to any of the players on our team, Matt Storey became an unofficial assistant coach. You see, Matt loves the Detroit Tigers, and would show up to games to sit on the bench to cheer on the "farm team," which just happened to be made up of 12 year old boys. The boys quickly accepted Matt, and began calling him "Coach Storey." After wins (and losses), Matt would lead the team in a trip around the bases, running with a huge Detroit Tigers flag and an even bigger smile. Matt had gall bladder surgery during the season, and to see the genuine concern of a bunch of 12 year old boys was touching.

As waterboy for the Dublin Coffman football team, Nathan gets to roam the sidelines with "Coach Storey" each Friday night. Matt is the team manager. Last Friday, Nathan came bursting through the front door after the game with the big news. It was not that Coffman had beaten Thomas Worthington by a score of 49-6. Instead, his first words were "Matt Storey was voted Homecoming King!" I'm sure this was a scene repeated in many homes around town.

In many high schools, the most popular boy is voted Homecoming King. This scenario was no exception in Dublin this year. However, the fact that Matt Storey truly is the most well liked and popular kid in school is the real story here. CONGRATULATIONS, MATT...and well done, Dublin.

From the DUBLIN VILLAGER
Wednesday, October 1, 2008 2:52 PM
By CANDACE PRESTON-COY
ThisWeek Staff Writer
Dublin Coffman student Matt Storey is all smiles as he gets help with his sash after being named homecoming king before the start of last Friday's football game against Thomas Worthington.
Matt Storey is known as the "No. 1 fan" of Dublin Coffman High School.
He received a new title from his peers last Friday, when he was named king of Coffman's homecoming court.

Tears streamed down Kim Storey's face when her son's name was announced. They fell from several other eyes as last year's king, Andrew Talle, placed the crown on Matt Storey's head and handed over the scepter. Though smiling, Storey kept glancing at the Shamrocks football team that was waiting to run onto the field. A kiss for mom and a hug with dad Ken were all he had time for as he handed over his royal garb and ran after his teammates.

Matt Storey is a football team manager, Coffman principal Tracey Miller said. In fact he's a manager of several teams and for those he isn't, he's there cheering them on. Storey is developmentally handicapped but doesn't let that stop him, his mom said. "He loves sports, loves being part of the team, any team, but he especially loves football and the kids all embrace him," she said. "He is so pure in his feelings and his emotions," Miller said. "He loves this school so much. He is our No. 1 student in terms of spirit and connection to the school. I can't think of too many home events that he is not there when I arrive, leading cheers, encouraging the teams. "He's incredible. He typifies student spirit and the kids all recognize that," Miller said.

Zach Bott, who has known Storey since seventh grade, bet "he had 98 percent of the vote" for homecoming king. "Everybody voted for him," Bott said. "He's a lot of fun." Only seniors vote for the members of the homecoming court, but the entire student body votes for the king and queen, Miller said. "It has nothing to do with his disability," said senior Haileigh McClure. "When I think of Matt, I think of him for his school spirit. He's just really well liked." "I definitely voted for him," said senior Jess Phelan. "He's the No. 1 fan at Coffman. We're fans of him."
What did Storey have to say about all the attention he received at the game and at the homecoming dance the next night? "It was very cool," he said. "It was fun and I enjoyed hearing everyone yell my name when I was on stage (at the dance). It was a lot of fun."
Ken Storey credits the school district for his son's progress. "The support system is tremendous," he said. "This speaks volumes for the school system and the student body." "It's such a wonderful thing. It says so much for the students here at Coffman and for Matthew, too," Kim Storey said. "Matt came home this summer and told me the boys (on the football team) told him they were voting him for homecoming king," she said. Not wanting to get his hopes up too high, she told her son, "I don't know buddy. You never know, but it could happen."

Was he surprised? "I knew it all along," he said, smiling. "I think this means the world to him," his mom said. "For Matthew, this will stay with him forever."

2 comments:

Michelle said...

{I am crying} I love this story and I want to meet him. When you see/hear things like this happening, it gives you alittle faith in this crazy world, especially when the good comes from kids. And what an example to Ian and his peers. GO ROCKS! Thanks for sharing...I needed this.

drew said...

AMAZING! Ken, I never would have heard about this except for your post. I'm so proud to be from a great place like Dublin. Storey is a great story.

Thank you for sharing.

Drew