GREENUP COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Before the kickoff of their first football game of the year on Friday, players at Greenup County High School paid tribute to a young athlete who couldn't be there.
"We talk about 'win the day' around here, and Dakota Miller epitomizes that," Head Coach Scott Grizzle said.
Thirteen-year-old Dakota Miller was badly hurt in an accident in May and has been hospitalized since.
At the debut of the 2017 season, Dakota was made an honorary captain.
"When anything happens like that, it brings people together," Grizzle said. "The people of Greenup County have come together over Dakota."
When players took the field, they displayed a number 28 jersey -- Dakota's number.
"We think about him and we talk about him every day," senior Chase Hunt said. "No matter what, he needs to stay strong through everything, and we're pulling for him down here."
Coach Grizzle says Dakota was moved to the Cleveland Clinic a couple months ago from a hospital in Huntington and has been showing signs of improvement, but his road to recovery is still long.
"Dakota was always in our football program," Hunt said. "He means a lot to all of us. We wish he could be out here with us celebrating and playing, so we just want to do all we can for him. We think this game and all our wins this season go for him."
Grizzle says Dakota would've been going into his 8th grade year.
Greenup County defeated Lewis County 62-10.