Texas high school football player's postgame prayer with opponent goes viral

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Texas high school football player goes viral after kneeling for postgame prayer with opponent

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Play hard, pray hard.

A Texas high school football player made some key plays Friday night, but his actions after the game drew much more attention.

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Gage Smith, a senior at Sherman High School, walked across the field after the game to pray with West Mesquite player Ty Jordan, whose mother is battling cancer, KXII reported.

"When you're playing the game, you're playing to win and the other team is the enemy, but afterward you still have respect for the other opponent," Smith told the television station.

Jordan's aunt, Taaka Jordan, posted photos on Facebook of Smith walking over to Ty Jordan, embracing him, and then kneeling in prayer with his opponent. The post was shared more than 159,000 times before the it was removed from public display late Tuesday morning. Smith said he knew Ty Jordan because both players competed on a select 7-on-7 team, KXII reported.

"I just had a moment with him praying over him, his mom, and his family," Smith told the television station reported.

Sherman football coach J.D. Martinez called Smith "a true leader" on and off the field.

"He has compassion, and it followed through for a lot of the guys on the team," Martinez told KXII.

"To see that it (photograph) blew up I was very surprised by it, and I wasn't expecting it to be like that,,you know," Smith told the television station, "I was just doing it for him and doing it for his mom and his family."

Martinez said his wife snapped the viral photographs and sent them to Smith's mother, who in turn passed them along to Jordan's family, KXII reported.

"It's pretty special that kind of everybody gets to see really what he is. He's that type of kid all the time, it's just not in front of the cameras or anything like that, he's like that every day," Martinez told the television station.

"Football brings people together in so many different ways, and that was just one example of it that night," Smith told KXII.