The bond that one little girl formed with a fifth-year senior playing on Mississippi State’s football team is incredible. And to think that it all started one season ago with a simple hello.
Jesse Sloan has been attending Mississippi State football games since she was a baby. One day when she was three years old during the 2015-2016 season, she waited after the games to give the players high fives, or “five fives,” as she called them. One of the players gave her a high five, said she was cute, and then asked for a hug. The toddler happily reached out her arms.
“The love I have felt from Jesse Sloan and Donald Gray’s friendship is amazing,” DeLane Lewis Grogan, Jesse’s mother, wrote on Facebook.
Last season Jesse Sloan became Donald’s number one fan.
It didn’t take long for Jesse Sloan to crown Donald as her favorite person, and after every game she just had to see him.
“She talked about him daily, would not leave a game until she saw him, worried if Santa and the Easter Bunny visited him, wanted him and Dak Prescott (Cowboys) to come to her birthday party,” her mother shared with Love What Matters.
Over the past two years Jesse Sloan and Donald, who is now a fifth-year senior, formed a one-of-a-kind relationship. He often referred to her as his “best girl.”
Grogan wrote that people would often stick around to watch the pair greet each other after the big game.
Donald’s “best girl” always waited for him after every home game.
“And then, came this… After two seasons of this little blonde waiting for him after the game—it’s over,” Grogan wrote.
Although everyone knew that one day Jesse Sloan and Donald would have to say goodbye, no one expected it would be so hard.
The last time Donald took the field as a Mississippi State Bulldog was an emotional one.
They started out as strangers, but less than two years later they considered each other family.
“What started as a small gesture of ‘hello’ last season, has come to an end,” Grogan wrote on Facebook. “The chapter and the book is closed. We start the next book, as FAMILY.”
Following Donald’s last time playing for Mississippi State—he was injured and recently had surgery—Donald greeted Jesse Sloan for one last time.
Donald happily signed a shirt for the little girl.
She even had a little stuffed bulldog to give Donald as a graduation present.
We made HailState Instagram page.She gave him a Bulldog for his graduation present. #Family
There wasn’t a dry eye in sight.
As the duo met for one last time after the game on the field everyone was overwhelmed. Donald expressed his gratitude for Jesse Sloan and said that seeing her at every game “changed his life.”
“He told us he did not realize it would be this hard… It was hard on us too, Bud,” she wrote. “May the tears fall, as this last chapter closes.”
The two pinky promised that they would remain best friends.
Promising to be friends forever and keep in touch
“He will always be our #1 Bulldog.”
While Donald’s future is not yet set in stone, Grogan said that her family would undoubtedly support him no matter what.
“He has forever changed my family (and my heart)—I have so many new friends because of this wonderful young man,” she wrote. “He will always be our #1 Bulldog.”