After Horrific Crash, Teen Returns to Support Youth Football Teammates

SACRAMENTO -- Roncell Belton is known to his teammates as "Red."

The 13-year-old knows football. He is the quarterback and leader of his youth football team, the Sacramento Ducks.

But recently, he has to watch from the sidelines -- forced to tackle a bigger challenge than football.

In September, Red was the passenger in a car with his friend, 15-year-old Tayarrie Sims, and grandmother Bennie Harriel. A tow truck driver rear-ended their car, and Sims and Harrier were killed.

Red was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, suffering from brain trauma, collapsed lungs and a spinal injury.

Sacramento Ducks Head Coach Daunte Burks says it was a hard conversation to have with his team.

"It was one of those situations where I'm the leader of young people and so I have to step up and tell them some news that no one wants to hear, but we have to tell them that," he said.

Since the crash, Red has shown the same determination in recovery he has shown on the field. He's able to attend games in person to cheer his team on.

"I don't really do nothing at home," he said. "All I do is watch Netflix or play a game so when I get to go outside it's a blessing," Red told FOX40.

Red's story has been the motivation behind his team's on-field success. Now, the Sacramento Ducks are taking a shot at the American Youth Football National Championship in Florida in two weeks.

Despite the crash, his injuries and ongoing recovery, Red isn't missing his opportunity to lead the team again.

"It's a hard loss but at the same time, I'm going with them so I get to see what they are doing so I'm not missing out," he said.

The Ducks are raising money for their trip to Florida. If you wish to donate, you can click here or call (916) 706-3694.