Sweetwater spirit: One moment brings friendship alive for boy with autism

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SWEETWATER, Texas (KRBC) – For a 6-year-old, the first day of school can be pretty scary but when Conrad Smith pulled up to Southeast Elementary School and saw high school football players lining the entrance, things changed.

“He just stood up, put his head up walked in and every since then every morning he wants to go to school,” said Pamela Nelson, Conrad’s mom. 
That one moment, developing into something so much more.

“Oh I love those boys,” said Nelson.

When they met the two football players again and told them what they did for Conrad, the boys were shocked.

“It really brought tears to my eyes. It was very very emotional and I never knew I could have that big of an impact on somebody,” said Markus Meneses, Varsity football player for Sweetwater High School.

Conrad has non-verbal Autism and Dock 1, a chromosome deletion. His mom says, he’s never had a friend, until now.

“He calls us his friend and he’s one of our friends as well. He is a mustang to us,” said Antonio Padilla, Varsity football player for Sweetwater High School.

That friendship bringing life a new little boy.

“That affected him. This is not a day change for him. This is a life change for him, forever,” said Nelson.

This change showing the kind heart of these football players.

“I know that his parents say that we impacted his but I think that he has impacted me and Tony here. I think that he has impacted us a lot more,” said Meneses.

Impacting them to be better for themselves and the community.

“When I go outside the community be cautious because these little kids are watching me so I think over again my choices and what I need to be doing and how I need to be leading these little kids in the right direction,” said Padilla.

Conrad’s mom says, they are planning a surprise for the football team for homecoming to thank them for all they have done.

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