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FC Dallas Teen Players Get Surprise Graduation at Practice

FC Dallas' practice session turned into a graduation celebration

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Class on the computer wasn't so popular this year. Many students complained it was hard to concentrate.

But for some schools, virtual learning has been the way of life for years.

Some athletes on the FC Dallas roster are still in high school, completing classes online and attending practice.

"Our schedule is not like a normal teenager's," said 18-year-old Carrollton native Beni Redzic, who appeared for North Texas SC in 2020. "We need the flexibility and all the support."

A soccer match meant these students missed their graduation ceremony. All that hard work and no walk across the stage was in the cards for them.

So Friday, their teachers, counselors and parents barged in on their practice with a diploma and a cap and gown.

"I missed it because I was out of town, I really thought I was going to get this in the mail, you know, but it was cool to celebrate with all my teammates and family so it was good," said 18-year-old Dante Sealy, who made his Major League Soccer debut last season.

"There's no better way than graduating on the field, I'm thankful for my family for coming out here, supporting me working throughout the whole year," said 18-year-old Ricardo Pepi, who started four games for FC Dallas in 2020.

It meant so much to the young grads and their teachers -- and gave their parents that moment of pride.

"My son has to continue college education as well even though he is going to keep playing football," said Ethem Redzek, Beni's father.

His son plans to go into journalism eventually thanks to the virtual learning offered through a handful of public schools like iUniversity Prep at Grapevine-Colleyville ISD.

"Virtual is a fit and wonderful solution," said Kaye Rogers, executive director of virtual learning, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD.

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