From WMBF News Partner MyHorryNews.com:
By Lindsay Hickman firstname.lastname@example.org
Prom season is well underway and teens are trying to outdo each other with creative ideas to ask potential dates to the big event.
That was certainly the case for Abby Kerwin and Kirsten Mann, Carolina Forest High School students who created a prom-posal that their date Dylan Blanton will never forget.
Abby, Kirsten and Dylan met when they began taking a specialized class on physical education called "Unify Champions." The class, the first of its kind in Horry County Schools, focuses on teaching students from special education and general classes about playing, coaching and officiating sports.
Dylan was born with a spinal cord condition that has forced him to live his life in a motorized wheelchair. But he's a Panthers superfan and serves as the baseball team's manager.
"I met Dylan last year when I interviewed him for the school newspaper and he really inspired me," Kirsten said. "He never gives up on anything or lets anything hold him back from being involved. Dylan is a super funny kid and has a great personality. Dylan and I have fourth block together, so I knew that I'd need the help of some people in that class to pull off a big proposal. Thankfully between Mrs. Sefick, Abby, the baseball team and Principal [Gaye] Driggers we were able to completely surprise him."
Last Friday, Abby, Kirsten and their entire class headed to the baseball field to supposedly "learn about the game," but once the class got to the field, the entire Panther baseball team was there with posters and balloons.
Dylan was momentarily speechless, but he quickly said he would gladly take the girls to prom. He still seems excited about the big night.
"I had no idea that they were planning this and how long they had been doing it, so it was really surprising," Dylan said. "I'm so excited to go to prom with my friends."
"If you know Dylan, then you know he loves baseball," Kirsten said. "He is the team manager, so what is a better way to ask him to prom than something with baseball. Abby, in our fourth block class, decided to take him to prom with me and my boyfriend, who also plays baseball and is friends with Dylan. Every day we would think a little about when we would do it and how we would do it. Finally, we agreed on a date for the baseball team to be there and our Unify Champions class. We decided the baseball field was the perfect place to surprise Dylan."
The response from the team was also a surprise to the girls.
"We were hoping some of the boys would come, but the entire team and all the coaches were there," Abby said. "It really completely shocked Dylan. He just kept looking at me and Kirsten, because we were holding signs with the baseball team asking him to come to prom and he was just speechless."
Dylan and Abby are also running for Carolina Forest Prom Prince and Princess, and the entire baseball team seems to be rooting for them.
"Dylan is my buddy," Panthers catcher Christian Maggio said. "He is an awesome guy that never lets anything stand in his way. He comes to all of our games, practices and helps us in the dugout game after game. I can't wait to see him show up in a tux for prom."
Worley, the baseball coach, is also pulling for the beloved manager.
"I'm excited for Dylan," he said. "Not to have one, but two girls taking him to prom. But really he is an integral part of our team and to see other people recognize what a wonderful person he is, is well, just amazing."