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Molly’s Kids: Audrey Kell Football players make a 12-year-old’s world

Updated: Apr. 16, 2021 at 10:46 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The dream continues tonight for Branson Maners, a fifth grader at Polo Ridge Elementary School.

Last Friday, Branson got big VIP treatment from the Audrey Kell High School football team. They made him a team member for their last home game, and he watched the guys win 41-10.

Branson Maners recently got to meet the Audrey Kell High School football team.
Branson Maners recently got to meet the Audrey Kell High School football team.(Maners family photo)

Branson lives with Down syndrome. He has undergone lots of past surgeries, including open heart surgery at 14-months old. But his mom, Lindsy Maners, says he’s just like every other kid.

“It might take him a little longer to do things, but he leads with passion and is light years ahead in love, kindness, and living out loud,” she said. “And he loooooooooooovvvvvvvves football.”

He especially adores the AK varsity team. Branson played for their Future Knights clinic, met players there, then last week got to be on the field with them. And tonight… drum roll please... more joy coming for this 12-year-old.

Branson Maners recently got the VIP treatment from the Audrey Kell High School football team.
Branson Maners recently got the VIP treatment from the Audrey Kell High School football team.(Maners family photo)

Branson was invited back to act as the team’s honorary captain in AK’s first playoff game. He’ll be part of the coin toss, as well.

“I can’t say enough about the players, and their camaraderie with Branson, and the coaches,” Lindsy said. “The pictures are worth a thousand words.”

She’s right. Lindsy said she’ll also email me a few more from the game tonight of the coin toss.

Also, tonight at 11 p.m., we’ll be talking about Branson in the show… because who doesn’t want to hear a story like this one?

It’s also Football Friday Night with Nate Wimberly and he’ll have highlights of the actual game.

“It all leaves me speechless,” said Lindsy. “My heart is incredibly full to see my child living his best life.”

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