Inspired by Vince Young, Cancer Survivor Leads Team to Championship [Watch]

Archie Taylor Jr. doesn’t like to talk about cancer. He’d rather talk about Vince Young.

Five years ago, Taylor was a scrawny 12-year-old with a big smile. When a lump in his neck turned out to be lymphoma, the people of sleepy Hempstead, Texas—population 4,691—rallied around him.

They raised money to help pay Taylor’s enormous medical bills. They visited him in the hospital and celebrated when doctors declared him disease-free.

And tonight, they’ll cheer on the now-17-year-old at the Dallas Cowboys stadium, where he’ll lead the Hempstead Bobcats as star running back in the state football championship against the Melissa Cardinals.

It’s the first time the Bobcats have made it to the state championships in the school’s 82-year football history. The team is undefeated so far this season—a feat they haven’t achieved since 1955.

A visit from Vince Young during his illness helped him get to this moment, Taylor told My Fox Houston.

Hempstead ISD public information officer Laurie Bettis helped bring Young to visit a very sick Taylor in 2006.

Young came to Hempstead to talk football with Taylor, giving him an autographed Titans jersey and other gifts, Bettis said.

“When he was sick, all Archie would say was, ‘I want to play football. I just want to play football,'” Bettis said. “And that’s what he’s still saying today.”

Bettis said at least 10 charter buses are headed from Hempstead to Arlington today for the game.

“I have to go get on the bus right now,” she said this morning. “Everybody’s going.”

 

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