By Keith Russell

CELINA, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Celina junior running back Gabe Gayton is racing past what was and racing toward what is.

(courtesy: Stephanie Reisdorph)

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“I’ve seen a lot of drugs. People in and out of my house. It’s just a disaster of a life,” said Gayton about his childhood spent in five foster homes with his younger brother Tikayl, 9.

Their journey through the system in upstate New York eventually led them to Stephanie Reisdorph in 2018. The connection was instantaneous. “I just felt they deserved better than what they’ve had gotten,” said Reisdorph.

She adopted the Gayton brothers in March 2020. It was the “easiest and best decision” she ever made. Reisdorph said they absolutely rescued her and “these kids came into my life and taught me how to be selfless and how to love them and how to love myself more.”

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“I love her and am thankful for her taking us in,” said Tikayl.

Agreeing a whirlwind change in location was best, the new family moved to Celina.

“I don’t know if I was still with my biological mom, I would’ve gotten this chance to live a better life out here in Texas,” said Gabe. He wants others to understand that the past is the past. It should never prevent a great future.

“He is pushing forward to be the best student he can be. The best football player he can be. The  best person he can be, regardless of his background,” said Celina Head Coach Bill Elliot. “I look forward to him teaching tons of younger kids how to keep their heads up every day and stay positive.”

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