Waukon football team makes its 2021 season even more memorable with game-day visit to young fan recovering from accident injuries

Show of support provides own inspiration... Senior and junior members of the Waukon football team gather around four-year-old Mason Martin of Waukon, as he shows his approval in the photo above with a thumbs-up gesture Friday, November 5. Martin had been injured in a lawn mowing accident in late September and had recently returned home from a month-long hospitalization in Rochester, MN. Members of the team made the visit to the Martin home to show their support and give Mason a signed football that brought a big smile to his face evident in the photo at right with his father and mother, Kevin and Trish Martin of Waukon. The visit came just a few hours before the Indians won their Class 2A State Play-Off Quarterfinals game, 28-14, over North Fayette Valley to earn Waukon football’s fifth consecutive qualification for the Class 2A State Play-Off Semifinals at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. Submitted photos.

The Waukon football team pieced together another memorable season on the field with yet another deep run into the Class 2A State Play-Offs this fall. Yet, it was a game-day action off the field Friday, November 5 that may just be the team’s most memorable and inspirational moment of this 2021 season.

That Friday afternoon, prior to their State Play-Off Quarterfinals home match-up with North Fayette Valley, upperclassman members of the Waukon football team paid a visit to the home of young Mason Martin, four-year-old son of Kevin and Trish Martin of Waukon who was involved in a lawn mowing accident in late September of this year. The accident resulted in extensive injuries to a leg and hand that kept the active little boy in a Rochester, MN hospital for the month of October. He was able to return home earlier that same week of the visit he received from his newest fan base, with senior and junior members of this fall’s Waukon football team bringing him a signed football that Friday afternoon that brought a big smile to his face.

“He was definitely excited to see this group of guys stop by, it made him very happy,” Mason’s mother, Trish Martin, said. “His sisters, and all of us in the family, really enjoyed it. It was a nice surprise for Mason.”

Such a show of support left a strong impression with the family, but that show of support coming unexpectedly from a group of boys who obviously had other things on their minds that day the visit was made deepened that impression even more.

“We were impressed that a group of young guys like this would take the time to stop out and visit Mason, especially on a Friday when they had a big game to play just a couple hours after that,” Trish said. “They really put a smile on Mason’s face, and it’s nice that he has a group of young men like this that he can look up to. We’ve often worried about what his future will hold, and his ability to be involved in things like sports, so hopefully he can draw from this experience with these guys and want to be like these boys and be involved in as much as he possibly can in the future.”

Parents of the team members who helped organize the visit say that in wanting to show support to Mason and his family the boys may also very well have, themselves, found some inspiration from the young man who has been through so much in the past month or so, yet was very welcoming and interactive with a group he didn’t personally know. They specifically mentioned the thumbs-up Mason gave them and the fist bumps as they received as they were getting ready to leave.

That inspiration the boys gained from Mason, perhaps, could have played a part in the 28-14 victory the Waukon football team recorded a bit later that night in the team’s toughest postseason test up to that point, earning their fifth consecutive qualification for the Class 2A State Play-Off Semifinals at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.

For the Martin family, the visit was not only a nice surprise, but also another reinforcement of why they love making Waukon their home.

“This has been a very difficult time for our whole family, and a visit like this just adds to the overall support and generosity that we’ve received from this community,” Trish said. “The whole community has just been amazing to us, and the support we’ve received has definitely helped us find our way through this whole experience.”