Drag race hit-and-run victim inspires peers at pep rally

(WMC-TV) - Thursday marked another milestone in the recovery of a Mid-South teenager who was badly hurt by illegal drag racers.

Months after being critically injured in a hit-and-run, Sheffield High football star Darreontae Martin arrived for a brief pep rally Thursday just hours before the school's homecoming game.

"It's motivating to actually see my team get through this and hopefully win a game," he said. "The best thing ever."

It's been a long road to recovery for the star athlete who loves football and had a four year scholarship to Ole Miss. He's endured surgery and is still going through rehab.

"Getting my legs back to walking - that's like the hardest part, because I have metal rods in my legs and my arms," he said.

Martin's coach, LaShawn Lester, called the visit, "motivational."

"A lot of students are saying that, knowing where he came from, the dragging incident and coming back.  It's a lot of motivation.  Good to see him in rehab and getting back so fast," Lester said.

While Martin is hoping to permanently return to school soon, this brief visit with friends and teammates has brought a lot of inspiration and spirit on a very big night.

"He's like, thrilled," said his mother, Wrechal Currie. "Looking forward to the homecoming game.  We're going to the game tonight. He's the captain today. Can't wait to see him out on the field."

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