ORRVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - Rin Hagood loves football. His favorite player is Tom Brady, and he loves taking the field with his team at Meadowview Christian.
“He is always positive. Very rarely does he get upset," said Rin’s father, Joe Hagood. "He loves his teammates, and he does not miss a workout or a practice unless it’s absolutely necessary. As he tells me all the time, ‘Coach Taylor needs me, Daddy.’”
When most people meet him for the first time, the experience is often unforgettable. That was the case for Meadowview senior left guard Cole Smith.
“Back in 7th grade was the first time I ever met him. He asked me to tie his shoe for him," said Smith. "I wasn’t really sure what to think about it, but I got down there and tied his shoe for him, and we’ve been close ever since then, and Rin’s always been around me.”
Over the last three seasons, Rin has become an important part of the Trojan football team, even though he has autism.
"It’s a lively wire every day with Rin. We throw him passes at practice, and the first 7 on 7 we went to, we put him in, I said shoot, we’re gonna put him out there. It’s something unique to have him here,” said Meadowview head coach Bob Taylor. “Everybody has issues and for him to come and for him to come on the field and do what he’s doing, that’s top notch. Top notch.”
A few weeks ago, Rin scored a touchdown against Autauga Academy. He ran it back 75 yards, as his teammates cleared the way and fans cheered him on; it was a special moment for everyone in the stadium.
“It’s just been a blessing for him to be a part of this school and this team because it’s something that has given him the opportunity to be like all the other little boys and not to be put to the side," said Joe. "The coaches put him through the grind and just like everyone else, and he does his best to get it done every day.”
Although the team finished the year 0-10, having players like Rin on the roster showed it’s not always about getting a victory.
“He comes to practice every day he does everything that our kids do," said coach Taylor. "Now, we have to stay on him, and you never what he’s gonna say, but for him to do that? I mean, we lost every game, but that’s the memory everyone has.”
“Rin’s definitely like one of our brothers we treat him with respect just like everyone else," added Smith. "We love to be around him, and like you say he’s the highest scorer on our team, and we like to keep him around.”
Rin also plays basketball for the Trojans. He scored his first career touchdown against Chambers Academy back in 2018.