MARION, Ark. — Marion High School’s baseball team is still celebrating their first state championship win in school history. The Patriots say Bryce Wolford, a super fan with Down Syndrome, made all the difference.

As the baseball team headed off to state, their star player was not in line to get on the bus. He was the first one in line to cheer them on.

“I play baseball and (like) hanging out with my friends,” said Wolford.

Wolford’s “friends” are what some would call teammates.

“With Bryce it has not just been this season. We’ve been here five years and he was one of the first ones we met. We went to a summer game and he was sitting down watching his older brother play. His older brother played for us,” said Pete Prater, Marion High School’s head baseball coach.

Bryce has been with Coach Pete Prater every practice and gameday since.

“Til this day, he has always told me ‘Coach I want to play – coach I want to play,'” said Prater.

And on senior night, Bryce did just that.

“The assistants were like ‘Hey, let’s try to get him out there.’ It’s our senior night and he has been with these seniors and it was a cool deal,” said Prater.

Bryce said he feels “awesome” about leaving his usual spot in the dugout and heading out on the field.

“Him getting out here and hitting. That was huge. That was awesome,” said Ben Gerrard, pitcher for the Marion High School baseball team.

“We don’t treat Bryce any different than we do anybody else out here. He is one of us,” said Prater.

“He picks us up. He says ‘Hey buddy, you’re good, good job.’ He’ll shake your hand. It just doesn’t allow you to not have fun and that has really kinda kept us afloat all year,” said Gerrard.

The state championship trophy marks Marion High School’s first-ever baseball state championship win. Their good luck charm was still first in line cheering them on when they won.

After five years on the field and in the dugout, Bryce has now graduated.

“Bryce will never be on field with us again. It’s kinda sad but it’s the best possible way we could go out,” said Gerrard.