By Kayleigh Rahn
The fun began on a basketball court in February.
Nine-year-old Colton Rahn sank a basket that many Tuscola Biddyballers and Illini football players will not soon forget.
Colton’s story of courage became an area favorite, and in the months following, he gained hundreds of new buddies from throughout the ranks in Illini athletics.
While Colton, who happens to have cerebral palsy, was meeting new friends from Orange and Blue nation, his father, Jason Rahn set out to create a league for Colton to play on the football field.
Colton was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 14 months old, and he’s been told participation in traditional football will be out of the question for him. However, Saturday, June 9 at Ervin Park he ran drills to work on his footwork and took several handoffs during the Tuscola Flag Football inaugural Skills Camp. Rahn has reached out to the community for help in establishing an NFL Flag League in Tuscola that welcomes area children, both boys and girls, ages 5-13 to learn the skills of football in a non-tackle league. To be clear, Rahn isn’t against tackle football; although he feels Tuscola Flags offers JFL players additional practice and children who aren’t able to play in a tackle league the opportunity to get on the field.
About 50 kids worked on flag rules, agility, and moving down the field, and the teams received an extra boost from a few special guests.
An ongoing connection between Illini athletics and Colton brought seven Illini football players to the camp to show support and help with drills. And, after weeks of planning, Tuscola Flag Football’s Seahawks team learned their head coach will be Illini running back Reggie Corbin who will be joined by Justice Williams and Del’Shawn Phillips at the helm of the team.
Corbin, a native of Maryland, says his family is involved in youth sports leagues and has always wanted to find a way to give back in the same way.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, June 13 edition of The Tuscola Journal.