An act of kindness during halftime at the Fossil Ridge homecoming game Sept. 9 at Keller ISD Stadium became a social media sensation and continues to make headlines.
The Panthers’ quarterback Max Akin won the student vote for homecoming king and decided to give his crown to another student in the homecoming court, football team manager K.L. Norwood.
Photos from the ceremony started making the rounds on Twitter, getting play on many local and national news outlets, and part of a WFAA story was aired on “ABC World News Tonight.” The two students are flying to California this week to tape a segment on “The Ellen Show,” which is set to air at 3 p.m. Monday on KXAS Channel 5.
Akin and Norwood have been friends for years. Norwood, who has cerebral palsy, is popular on campus because he’s so friendly, said Ridge Principal David Hadley.
Hadley said everyone at the game was surprised by the spontaneous gesture, cheering long and loud.
Akin said he made the gesture for good reason:
"I think it should have gone to the person who positively uplifts the school and everybody around him the most, and that person's K.L., for sure, " he told WFAA.
The newly crowned king couldn't have been happier.
"It was absolutely, absolutely terrific, " said Norwood.
Fossil Ridge won the homecoming game against Saginaw, 40-12. Akin, who was first-team all-district at wide receiver last year, threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more and had 274 yards passing and 70 yards rushing.
Hadley said that showing compassion and respect to others are key traits cultivated by Ridge staff members, from the front office and playing fields to classrooms and the cafeteria.
“We know that the No. 1 indicator of student success is that they know there are people who care about them,” he said.
He also acknowledged the key role of parents in raising caring kids like Akin and Norwood and the contagious nature of kindness.
“It’s a very positive thing, and it helps to foster that atmosphere when you have that kind of example,” Hadley said.
Staff writer Tom Uhler contributed to this report.