Central Texas football player prays for injured opponent instead of celebrating game-winning touchdown

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 6:34 PM CDT
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AXTELL, Texas (KWTX) - A touching photo of a local high school football player praying over an injured opponent as time expired in a barn burner of a football game has gone viral and we’re learning the story behind it.

Instead of celebrating when he caught a game-winning touchdown with seven seconds on the clock, Jayme Wooley, 17, a senior running back and wide receiver at Axtell High School, ran to the opposing sidelines to pray over Koben Zan, a sophomore safety and receiver for Bremond High School who had just been carted off the field with a knee injury minutes before.

The touching moment, unbeknownst to the players, was caught on camera by a nearby teacher and posted online. “I didn’t really see any cameras,” Jayme said. “I felt in the moment that it was just me and him out there. Just paying attention to me and him and God.”

The game on September 2 was a back-and forth affair for four quarters and the score was tied with just minutes left in the game. That’s when Axtell, on the 49-yard-line, called a pass play to Jayme.

“We had 14 seconds left and coach called a pass play so I went and lined up and ran my route and just happened to score the game winning touchdown with seven seconds left,” Jayme said.

Axtell’s fans and the team went wild, but not the team captain. Jayme ran for the opposing sidelines to find the injured Koben.

Jayme Wooley, a senior running back and wide receiver at Axtell, ran to the opposing sidelines...
Jayme Wooley, a senior running back and wide receiver at Axtell, ran to the opposing sidelines to pray over Koben Zane, injured moments before.(Courtesy Photo)

“That’s when Jayme came straight over to me and sat down and asked if he could pray with me,” Koben said. “It meant so much to me that he took the time to come over and, not only pray with me, but for me.”

There were likely only two people who saw the moment happen. A teacher who snapped the picture and Koben’s mom, Amanda Loveless, who was watching her son with bated breath, worried from the stands above.

“He literally didn’t go over to the teammates, didn’t celebrate. He just went straight over to Koben,” Amanda said.

When she finally got to her son, she asked him what the opposing player was doing. “I asked if he was just telling you ‘good game,’ and he said, ‘no mom. He was asking to pray with me.’”

Jayme’s mom, Amy Gordon, was celebrating the win and had no idea her son wasn’t crowded down on the field with his Axtell teammates until she saw the praying pictures posted online.

“A friend of mine shared it and tagged me and I was like ‘there he goes again,’” Amy said. “He just has a really big heart. It’s more than a game to him. So, it doesn’t surprise me.”

Axtell won the game against Bremond 36-28. Koben is hoping to be back on the field in the next three to four weeks.

Jayme’s act of kindness at the game wasn’t the first one to garner him attention.

Two years ago, he stood at the doors of Axtell High School and passed out a flower to every girl at the school on Valentine’s Day.

His selfless act to make every girl feel special made national headlines.

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