TOPEKA (KSNT)- Maggie Lemon was recently named winter sports queen at Hayden High School. She did so with a special friend by her side. He’s a friend who has never let their differing abilities interfere with their heartwarming relationship.
“He actually makes me feel special and welcome to Hayden and he normally dances with me at special events, like prom,” Maggie Lemon, a Hayden senior with Down’s Syndrome said.
She’s talking about Trent Duffey. Duffey is a senior on the basketball team who has been a friend to Maggie since the day they met.
Being crowned queen was an unforgettable moment for Maggie. It was made even more meaningful since her friend Trent was right by her side.
“He’s funny. He’s smart. He’s actually a really good kid that’s very athletic, and nice, and funny, and brave, and loyal,” Maggie Lemon said.
“He treats her with a great level of love and respect and is always just a true friend to Maggie and Maggie thinks the world of him,” Maggie’s father, Tom Lemon said.
On the basketball court it may seem like Trent is the talented one. Off the court, he’s learning a lot from Maggie.
“Maggie’s always loving, always caring, always in a positive mood. It’s just great to be around her,” Duffey said.
Hayden boy’s head basketball coach Dwayne Paul is with Trent every day at practice and games. He says the way the starting forward accepts, loves and cares for Maggie is no surprise.
“It doesn’t matter what’s going on in Trent’s life, he’s never too busy. A day is never too bad for him to make time, for him to associate with her. If you can have a team full of Trents you know you’re in good condition because not only is he a great basketball player on the court but he’s a better human off the floor,” Coach Paul said.
Maggie’s father says it’s not just Trent who treats Maggie this way.
“Every kid that goes to this school treats Maggie very well. They all look out for her. They all do things for her every day. It’s hard to put into word’s how good that feels to know that when she comes here every day everybody is looking out for her,” Tom Lemon said.