by Kim Powell
HOBBS - When football players get together, all it takes is one snap, and one act of kindness to build a bond and change a life.
5-year-old Keison was being bullied at school, coming home with bruises from being kicked, and tear-filled eyes from name-calling.
After hearing about Keison's troubles, Eagle's varsity football player, Chris Kuykendall decided to do something about it. At first, it was just having lunch with him and giving him an autographed football from the team.
"Going to that lunch it was just like fun, you know, seeing his face just light up when you walk in there and seeing him happy, him getting that football. He was happy and it just blew up after that, like everyone started volunteering and like all of the parents just wanted it to happen, you know," Kuykendall said.
The two have been inseparable ever since.
"He has an imagination out of this world. I don't think he'll ever stop his imagination because he could think of something like that. Yea I like that about him," Kuykendall said.
And soon the rest of the football players made new friends with other kids being bullied at school.
"I still keep in touch with him. and just ever since then we've been friends," Brevin Young, another football player, said.
"Yea that's another thing about it, it's not like you're just going to go and just have lunch with them and it's just like that's the end of it," Kuykendall explained. "We keep in contact with them, we talk to them still they basically get a friend for life."
That's when Eagle Buddies formed. Now, more teams are getting involved and they all have play dates booked through the rest of the year.
"We actually got the volleyball players involved, the cheerleaders are now involved. Everybody wanted to jump in and help out, everyone was actually excited and the out pour from the community's been overwhelming," Legina Gonzales, a mother of a football player, said.
The Eagle Buddies not only play with kids but they also talk to them about problems they're having with bullies.
Keison's mom says she can already see his confidence matching his amount of energy.
The best part? More kids want to be his friend.