Some suburban high school football players helped their wheelchair-bound coach stand during the national anthem before Friday night’s homecoming game.
Coach Brock Shiffer is a first-year special teams coordinator at William Fremd High School in Palatine. He's been with the football team for six years.
A Navy veteran, Shiffer is in a wheelchair after being in a car accident on a naval base nearly 14 years ago.
"It's a proud moment for me," Shiffer said.
Several players helped Shiffer stand during the national anthem, something he said was important to him as a veteran in the wake of recent controversial stances taken by several NFL players.
"This is something I can do," Shiffer said. "I have the ability to put forth the effort and have someone hold me up so I can stand at attention and give honor to our country."
Several of the players’ parents said they were very proud of their kids for helping their coach.
"This just shows how important it is to someone who can't stand and wants to show respect," said parent Brenda Schwantz. "I'm proud of my son and proud of the boys for wanting to be a part of it."
The players say they plan to rotate in for the honor and will stand and support Shiffer for every game remaining in the season.
"These kids are special," Shiffer said.