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Teammates give Jackson the gift of color

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  • Article Image Alt Text
    Jackson Taylor (center) surrounded by tennis teammates who purchased the colorblind glasses for him.
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Teammates made sure Jackson had colorful balloons and candies for his first in-color experience. CONTRIBUTED
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Members of the JCHS Tennis Team surprised Jackson with the glasses after their tennis banquet. CONTRIBUTED

A Jones County High School Senior received an unusually thoughtful gift from teammates that, it can be said, changed the way he would see the world.

Jackson Taylor has been a member of the JCHS Tennis Team for two years. He was team captain this year, and, according to coach Mark Higginbotham, Jackson’s leadership helped the team finish third in the region and make it to the state finals.

Team members knew Jackson is colorblind. When they were looking for the perfect going away present for their captain, Higginbotham said the team came up with the idea of colorblind glasses.

The coach said Rylee Veal took on the leadership role and found the glasses on the internet. The glasses were not cheap, so they all chipped in and collected enough to purchase them.

He said the team was made up of a good group of students that he enjoyed coaching.

“I feel like Jackson held the team together. He is a mature, caring, standout individual,” Higginbotham said.

Jackson said his teammates gave him the glasses after the tennis banquet. He said he knew they were talking to each other about something the whole evening, and he was starting to get aggravated.

The captain said the coach asked team members to meet at the tennis courts after the banquet, with the excuse that he had forgotten their team shirts.

“When I walked up to the others, they were holding a bag. The glasses were inside,” he said.

The coach said the students had bunches of multi-colored balloons and colorful candies like Skittles to give Jackson the full effect of seeing color for the first time.

Jackson said the first thing he noticed when he put the glasses on was how green the trees and grass were.

“Without the glasses, everything is pretty much different shades of gray,” he said. “I was speechless and very grateful to my teammates.”

Jackson said he will be attending Georgia College next year and plans to major in special education.

Higginbotham this was his last year to coach tennis and he was hoping something special would happen.

“This was it,” he commented.