Julie Fine, NBC 5 News
DeSoto High School has retired No. 24, the jersey number worn by Corey Borner. The football player was paralyzed during a team practice in 2009.
No. 24 will never be worn by a DeSoto High School football player again after the school retired Corey Borner’s jersey at halftime on Thursday night.
"I love DeSoto Eagles," he said. "I will always be an Eagle. Football will forever be in my heart."
Borner was paralyzed during a drill during a team practice back in 2009.
Since then, he continues to come to the games and be an inspiration for the players on the field.
"He loves DeSoto," coach Claude Mathis said. "He has been an Eagle his whole life, so retiring his jersey is the best thing to happen for him right now."
Borner and his family didn’t know that his number would be retired. They thought they were midfield for a ceremony to honor the former athletic director.
But when it was announced, there were very few dry eyes at the stadium. Mathis handed Borner his jersey in a frame.
"This is inspiring," Borner said. "I am blessed, grateful and thankful, determined and motivated. It means a lot to me.
He also added, "Like I tell everybody, 'I will walk again. I will never give up.'"