Taylor Dunn couldn’t hold back the tears Friday night when she heard Nick McGee’s name.
“I cried,” the senior at Central Bucks High School South told NBC10. “I couldn’t stop crying. I think everyone on the field was crying.”
Dunn was standing next to her childhood friend Nick McGee, 18, after escorting him to the field during a football game at Central Bucks in Warrington Friday night. Nick, along with Lily Bowman, were among the nominees for the school's homecoming king and queen. The teens, who both have down syndrome, are popular students at the school who have received a great deal of support from classmates and staff. Despite this, Nick wasn't sure if he would win.
“I was real nervous and excited though,” Nick told NBC10.
Nick’s sister Lauren recorded as the winners were announced. The speaker then called out Lily and Nicks’ names. In a moment of pure joy, Nick raised his hands in victory, raced to the stands and jumped up and down as cheers erupted from the crowd.
“He won and he ran right over to the stands,” said Nick’s mom Kim McGee. “He loved the cheering section because he’s always part of them every week so he ran right over to them. It was very exciting and everybody was in tears.”
Kim remembers the first thing Nick said to her after he won.
“I’m King mom!”
The clip of Nick’s reaction quickly went viral after it was posted on social media over the weekend. Another video showed Lily hugging fellow student Kyle Monsalud, who escorted her to the field, after her name was called.
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The newly crowned king and queen attended the homecoming dance Saturday. Nick's classmates cheered as he danced to his favorite song, "Gangam Style."
“My song is Gangam Style that I dance to a lot,” Nick said. “The cheer was, ‘we will win.’ I always do it every single football game I ever went to.”
Kim told NBC10 she’s touched not only by how popular the video of her son winning has become but also the amazing support he’s received from his classmates and community.
“Just everyone was reaching out, excited,” Kim said. “It just shows how great a community we live in. Nick’s been part of the school since kindergarten so it’s been awesome to see how they responded.”
Kim also praised Taylor for the continued support she’s given Nick.
“Taylor is amazing,” Kim said. “She just represents her class and exactly how they feel. Nick ran for president of the school and she was his campaign manager. They’ve been friends since kindergarten.”
Taylor, who is also on the homecoming court, is proud of her longtime friend for his latest accomplishment.
“It was not a surprise at all,” she said. “Nick is one of the leaders of our student section. Everyone loves him. Lily is the same way. They just always put a smile on other students’ faces. They’re friends with everyone so it was not a surprise that they won.”
Nick thanked all his friends and supporters. He also talked about his dream of working with the Philadelphia Phillies after he graduates, having worked with the team in the past.
“I also dance at the Phillies games at the dugout,” he said. “My idol is Ryan Howard. I met him too. He told me, ‘Keep rocking it Mr. King!’”