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Manteca High football team honors students in county special ed class

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Manteca High football team honors students in county special ed class

Students in Shanon Murphy’s San Joaquin County Special Ed class were honored by the Manteca High varsity football program at the recent Buff Maniac event.

Photo contributed/

POSTED December 12, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Jacob LeDon was honored at a rally held at Manteca High’s Winter Gymnasium.

But he wasn’t alone.

A student in Shanon Murphy’s San Joaquin County Special Ed Class located on campus, he was picked from a list as part of the Buff Maniac tradition, according to MHS Leadership class chair Taylor Teixeira.

That’s the recognition week consisting of members of the MHS varsity football squad under coach Eric Reis. Students pay for the privilege to support one of the varsity players, with each taking part in some sort of daily activity such as locker decorating, baked good days, and health snack day, to name a few.

At the end of the week, Buff Maniacs reveal their identity at the school-wide rally.

In this case, LeDon, who received gifts and words of support throughout the week, found out that his Buff Maniacs were none other than the MHS football squad.

He and his fellow students in the county program were especially thrilled to take part in this traditional high school experience.

At the rally, LeDon was initially singled out. But much to his surprise, he was joined soon joined by 14 of his classmates.

“Normally, a girl or a group of girls will usually buy their favorite player,” said Social Science teacher Nina Norton. “So, it was a surprise to find the county special needs students were his Buff Maniacs.”

LeDon’s favorite gift for the week was a Starbucks gift card. Yet he was saddened that his fellow classmates were without gifts.

No problem. Reis stepped in and gave MHS football shirts to the entire class.

In turn, LeDon, who credited the football program for helping him improve academically this year, was greatly appreciative of the attention and care he and his classmates received, according to Norton.

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