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Georgia High School Football Player with Cerebral Palsy Inspiring Other Teams

By Nicole Emmett

FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. — Victory was the last thing on Benji Rutland’s mind after the game between his Sandy Creek High School Patriots and the Hampton Hornets.

When the buzzer sounded Friday night, he went over to his mother, who says she saw the look of awe and excitement in his eyes.

“Did you see number 62? Did you see him? He’s the epitome of no excuses,” Heather Trompke says her 16-year-old son asked. “He told me, ‘I want to go shake his hand.’”

Heather Trompke can hardly explain the rest without becoming overcome with pride, emotion and happiness about what followed.

Devon Berry, a senior at Hampton High School, is a stellar athlete, playing football, basketball and wrestling, Trompke said. She said he is a great student, and has a relationship with his faith that inspires her.

He has cerebral palsy, but that doesn’t hold him back.

“He’s the real deal,” Trompke said.

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