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      Football player with special needs inspires team

      For C.J. Fisher, heading onto the Gwinn football field takes a little longer for him than most of his teammates. He's an athlete with special needs.

      Thanks to his teammates, they take care of him by doing everything from tying his shoes to helping him out on the field. In return, C.J. brings them luck.

      "I'm the good luck charm because when I'm here, they don't lose, but when I'm not here, they lose," said C.J.

      It's his first year on the varsity team, and in a recent game against Baraga, C.J. got in and scored a two-point conversion...with his teammates backing him up the whole way down the field.

      "Off C.J. went, and the other boys really cleared the way. They did a lot of work to help C.J. make it across the line, and he scored two points for the conversion. The entire team went out there, carried C.J. off the field. It was pretty amazing," said C.J.'s mom, Stacey Fisher.

      "They lifted me off the field and carried me to the sideline. They were so happy! Then, I picked up my mom and hugged her," C.J. added.

      And for his fellow football teammates, it's all about being there for a friend.

      "I think I was the first one to go out and give him a big hug, you know? I don't know, I was tearing up a little bit, but it was pretty exciting. He's actually one of my best friends, you know. I mean, it's always good to be there helping him out. It makes me feel good. It makes the whole team feel good I think," said C.J.'s teammate, Aaron Nordman.

      C.J. is also 18 years old and has a lot in common with another U.P. football player, Eric Dompierre. Because of the Dompierre's efforts to change the Michigan High School Athletic Association's rules, athletes like C.J. can apply for a waiver that allows them to play high school sports, even though they're older.

      The Fisher's applied for the waiver this week.