Helena, AL

Teenager reunites with father in coin toss for last football game of the season: “The longest we’ve been away”

Amy Christie

It started as an ordinary coin toss and soon turned into a surprise reunion between a teen football player and his Army dad, who returned after being deployed overseas.

The man had never got the chance to watch his son playing football before, so he planned the joyful reunion with game officials and made it a memory for years to come.

What are the details?

Servicemember Fred Grooms Sr. never got the chance to watch his son play in a high school game before. The first time he came to see him was also the last game of the season.

The freshman player who lives in Helena, Alabama, didn’t expect his father to come back early. As he walked onto midfield, ready to shake hands with the opposing team players and do the coin toss, he had no idea what surprise was waiting, according to The Epoch Times.

Fred Sr. planned the reunion in secret. He bought a referee uniform, and he planned everything with game officials. So, he arranged to meet the players for the coin toss, and the footage was later posted on social media.

“All officials, come in here. Get all of the officials’ faces down,” the players were instructed after the handshake.

Even though he was wearing his referee uniform, Grooms Sr. had trouble holding back his smile. His son recognized him and embraced him in a happy reunion. They held on for over 20 seconds while the head ref thanked them for being a part of this heartwarming occasion.

“It was overwhelming. My son isn’t outwardly emotional. He won’t hug you, kiss you. For him to hug me so tight, it was special,” Grooms Sr. shared with Shelby County Reporter.

This reunion was very touching because the father and son hadn’t seen each other for a year.

“I didn’t keep my composure. It was the longest we’ve been away since he was little, one year. It was usually 90–120 days. So, it was more difficult,” the father added about the emotional encounter.

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX

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