Teen Makes Wishes Come True for Family Who Lost Father

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A North Texas teenager is making Christmas wishes come true for a family who lost their father -- a popular high school football coach and teacher - to cancer.

Donovan Browder, 14, was excited to play football for coach Billy Smith.

He’s made it his mission to "adopt" the Smith family, collecting gifts, gift cards and over $800 for Smith’s kids.

Smith was the defensive coordinator for Mansfield's Lake Ridge High School.

He lost his 3-year battle with cancer in September.

Kirk Thor is the head football coach for Lake Ridge High School and coached with Smith for 21 years.

“When a freshman in high school walks in and has that kind of vision, and that huge heart, it floored me,” Thor said.

Sports Connection

Connecting you to your favorite North Texas sports teams as well as sports news around the globe.

How MLB's Three Major Rule Changes Are Affecting Game Length, Runs and More

Ukraine Looks to Block Athletes From Competing With Russians

“The Lake Ridge family and Lake Ridge football community will always be there for them. And we love them. We have them in our prayers, and we’re always going to look out for them,” Browder said.

Browder helped start a college fund for the Smith children. Members of the football team, coaches and Browder will present the gifts and money collected to the family Wednesday night.

Contact Us