Homecoming week at Central High School has been filled with activity — from the traditional pre-dawn tractor convoy to school to the community pep rally and homecoming parade.
But the most memorable moment will likely be during the second quarter of tonight’s game when the team will run a special play devised by team manager Seth Bayles — drawn up from his hospital bed at Froedtert Kenosha Hospital.
“He put in some unique stuff,” said head coach Tyson Mengel, who surprised Seth with a visit Wednesday. “It has some motions and some tricks.”
The play is called “The Seth Special.” But, Mengel said, it is Seth that is special.
“He is one of my all-time favorite kids,” Mengel said. “You can’t meet him and not be inspired.”
Bayles, a senior, who has a rare autoimmune disease that causes his immune system to attack cells in his body, has repeatedly rallied the community to raise tens of thousands of dollars for the Ronald McDonald House and the Samaritan’s Purse Children’s Heart Project.
The progressive disease which has affected many of his organs, has caused him to miss more of his last high school football season than he’d like. He has been hospitalized since Sunday night.
“It was an amazing moment,” Seth said. “(Coach Mengel) actually took time to come here, hand me a pad of paper and let me draw up a play. I was just overcome by that.”
Seth said he is hoping to be at the homecoming game Friday — the last regular season home game.
The plan to honor Seth was officially announced at the pep assembly Wednesday. Friends sent photos and videos from the assembly, and classmates made get well soon cards.
While he was asked to attend homecoming dance on Saturday, Seth said attending the game Friday will be strenuous enough.
He plans to rest Saturday so he can fulfill another special honor Sunday as the honorary captain of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside men’s soccer team.