Touching Football Victory in Orlando

Posted: Dec. 26th, 2012  |  By Michael Pearse
Leonard Gourdine
Miami Herald

In a touching story of the underdog coming out on top, #84 of the Miami Central Rockets celebrated his team's victory in Orlando but with a different battle behind him than that of his team mates: A four month long battle against leukemia. Leonard Gourdine, stricken from the team by cancer triumphed despite the odds and lived to celebrate with his friends.

He didn’t catch a pass, make a tackle or play a single down this season for the Miami Central Rockets.

But Leonard Gourdine walked out of the Citrus Bowl on Saturday afternoon and onto the team bus the way he had dreamed of back in August — with a state championship medal around his neck, a huge smile on his face and joyous teammates around him.

Wearing the No. 84 jersey that was supposed to be his this season, Gourdine served as an honorary captain before the Rockets went out and beat No. 1-ranked Gainesville 37-14 in the Class 6A title game.

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