Kentucky youth football coach who rescued child returns to field

Published On: Sep 16 2013 07:40:08 AM HST

The Yellowjackets in the Mighty Mite youth football division took the field in Louisville on Saturday, as did the coach many are now calling a hero.

People swarmed to Russell Lee Park Thursday night as emergency responders worked to free the coach and a little girl from a massive hole.

The two suffered bumps and bruises, but that's not stopping the coach from getting back to the game he loves.

Terrence Washington, 46, returned to the football field Saturday, coaching his team after a chaotic Thursday night.

"I heard a child in distress, and when a child is in distress you put your life on the line to get that child to safety," said Washington.

He went to help the 2-year-old girl who fell down the hole. He said the second he heard the cries for help, instinct kicked in.

"I had a 2-year-old that got hit by a car six years ago and that was partial to my reaction to be able to assist going down because I know the emotions that go through a parents mind when faced with that type of situation," said Washington.

The two spent more than an hour down the 15-foot hole. Amazingly, they were not hurt.

"I still feel a lot of soreness in my legs. They were in an awkward position," said Washington.

Dozens watched as crews frantically worked to rescue the two. Washington said he tried to keep the girl calm.

"If it was a football player, we probably would have been discussing some plays, but that's probably a future cheerleader," said Washington.

Those cheerleaders can also be found in the parents of Washington's players, not just because he helped get the girl out of trouble.

"A 12-foot drop and a 2-year-old girl, it was scary. He didn't think twice. He went down and did his thing. (I'm) very proud of him," said Malcolm McGaughy, whose son is on the football team/

"I believe that he's a hero for saving that child's life," said Alonte Brock, whose son on the team. "And I feel proud that he's my son's coach."

That caring spirit could be seen in action again Saturday, as one of his players went down.

It's that compassion and coaching that has him celebrated around town, like on the Waggener High School sign, because of his heroic act.

The celebrations continued as his team scored a victory Saturday.

"I'm feeling good. Glad it was a successful week," said Washington.

Russell Lee Park remains closed while city leaders look to see if there are other holes and how to best fill them.

They think the holes were left behind from a housing development that was on that land back in the 1960s.

The team continues to look for a place to practice while the park is closed.


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