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Finding The Good: Small gesture, lasting impact

This is a recurring recording of WBNG's 11pm Newscast.
Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 2:41 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 28, 2021 at 2:42 PM EST
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ENDWELL (WBNG) -- Maine-Endwell Senior Donavin Hamer was on top of the world after winning the high school football state championship with his teammates earlier this month.

But that feeling only got better, thanks to a local 4th grader, Austin Semko.

“We were at Jonathan’s and had just come back from the state championship win, and we were sitting at dinner and my mom brought me a letter that Austin wrote me,” Donnie explained “I read it and I was like... Wow, he went out of his way to write me a letter. So decided to sign my cleats for him because it’s definitely going to make his day and definitely going to make an impact. So why not, give back to the youth, give back to the community for sure.”

But it’s not just the fact that Donnie signed his cleats for Austin, it’s the way he delivered them.

“I was just in pure shock,” said Austin “I just didn’t even know what to do. I was just speechless, I couldn’t even talk, I couldn’t even talk after school. I couldn’t even...process it!”

Austin told us he still hasn’t processed it yet, but you can tell just how much a small gesture like that means to him.

“I was really thankful and I was really happy because I don’t know, I was just really thankful because I thought it was really cool.”

According to Donnie, it’s the least he could do for Austin, someone who truly looks up to him.

“They’re looking up to us so we have to make an impact. The community is always watching, especially Austin, he came up to me after our homecoming game and took a picture with me. That definitely made my day for sure.”

But win or lose, the family feeling within Maine-Endwell stays the same.

“Even if we didn’t win that game, we still have kids like Austin who have our back, rooting for us no matter what,” said Donnie.

And he plans on having Austin’s back, when it comes to his own goals down the road.

“I just want to be state champions too,” Austin said. “And that’s really it, I don’t know about any other goals.”

“As he said, he wants to win a state championship here. I definitely want to come back and see him play as well. We’re definitely a family here so he has my back I’ll have his back even after I graduate,” Hamer said.

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