Patriots soccer signs new youth

FMU soccer signs 4-year old Maddox Daniel

FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - Francis Marion soccer has decided to expand its roster by one spot for the next couple years, and it's a move not only supported by the team, but the entire school's athletic department.

"They (the Daniel family) have been out a couple times already, and it's been great having him here and the guys love having him here," explained men's head soccer coach John Campbell.

They're talking about Maddox Daniel. FMU and Team Impact, a charity based out of Boston, helped make the pairing happen. The Patriots held a Draft Day in Maddox's honor to name him to the team.

Last year, Maddox was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), which causes progressive muscle degeneration.

"He can't experience what we experience right now," said junior midfielder Pascal Magiera. "So since we share the next two years with him, and signed him for two years, all the stuff we experience, that's actually a good thing for us and him."

"He may not have the opportunity to play college athletics, so at four (years old), to get out here and to kick the ball around with these guys is like superhero status for him," said Tracey Daniel, Maddox's mother.

Maddox's job duties with his new team feed that status. He will attend the team's practices, games and even help in warmups. Yet perhaps more importantly, the Daniels have just felt there is now an extension to their family.

"We are just blown away by the fact that all the teams came to Maddox's signing day, and we're just excited to have the opportunity to be a part of something like this," said Daniel in response to every Francis Marion athletic team showing support at Thursday's Draft Day.

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