When he was nine months old, doctors diagnosed Tyler Pinyatello with cerebral palsy. There were grim predictions about what his life would be like. But today, Tyler's story is an inspiration. Celeste Pinvatello, Tyler’s mom said that she was told, “He'll probably never walk talk, and he could have seizures; it was just all this grim diagnosis and go ahead and go home.” Now, 18 years later, Tyler Pinyatello finished his football career at New Hanover High School. In 2008, #99 played in four games for the Wildcats who finished in second place in the Mideastern Conference. Tyler explained, “I was proud, I just wanted to make sure I see my parents face when I got in. And make my coaches and my teammates proud.” Mom Celeste remembers the first time Tyler got in the game. “They were starting to chant Tyler's name, the cheerleaders and everybody. I realized he was running onto the field, and I of course lost it. I was sitting in the stands crying and watching him so excited on the field. I knew that had just made every practice he had ever been to worth while.” But Tyler said he wouldn't have set foot on the grid-iron if it wasn't for NHHS Head Coach Kevin Motsinger. “I see him as a father. He's like another dad to me,” Tyler said. In practice, Motsinger stressed to his players the importance of leaving your mark. “Going out, he's going out as a king. I mean that was what we talked about. The biggest thing I can say about Tyler is he's nothing but courage.” Tyler said even with two-a-day practices and endless weight lifting sessions, it wasn't about him. “I would rather get that “W” than just cry about me going on the field and getting playing time if that hurts the team. I'm not going to be selfish. Football, it doesn't take one guy, it takes 11 of us, it takes a team to go out there and do something.” While at New Hanover, Tyler also joined the track team to help him stay in shape for football. He now hopes to throw shot put for a college track team.
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