With Ohio State holding on to a seven-point lead midway through the fourth quarter Saturday vs. Iowa, Ohio Stadium didn’t need much reason to get fired up.
It got it anyway in the form of a 10-year-old boy from Dayton named Cameron.
Sitting in the front row of section 27AA, Cameron was spotted by video cameras cheering on the team during a stoppage in play and ended up on the big scoreboard at the South Stands of the Horseshoe. His intense cheering of “Let’s go Bucks!” was an immediate hit among the more than 105,000 fans.
“He’s just that intense,” his father Demetri told BuckeyeSports.com. “He was just so excited to be on that board. That was like the best thing that ever happened to him.”
On the way out of the stadium from the father and son’s first OSU game of the season, Cameron was already a bit of a celebrity thanks to his scoreboard enthusiasm.
“It was really cool,” Demetri said. “He was like, ‘They know who I am.’ There was a kid and a couple of parents when we were walking out who were like, ‘Hey, you were the kid on the video board! That was awesome!’ and just being excited for him. It definitely gave him a big pump up.”
The turn of events was appreciated even more by his father after the past 20 months. The family moved to Austin, Texas, last spring, and in the words of Demetri, “Everything was going great. I never thought for a second to worry about Cameron because he’s like the nicest kid you’d ever meet. People always say how nice he is and what a wonderful kid he is without being asked. I knew he’d make friends.”
But everything when Cameron began staying after school to play football with some kids, the undersized youngster began having to deal with a couple of school bullies.
“Being the dad, when he came home, I was kind of like, ‘Stand up for yourself,’ and trying to go the whole dad route, and my wife was saying, ‘You need to let the school know immediately,’ ” Demetri said. “I tried to go the wrong route, and it got worse and worse and worse.
“Then I went up to the school and saw it for myself without anybody knowing I was there, and it was horrible. Two kids that were twice his size were pushing him and kicking him, and all he wanted to do was play football. You want to talk about a dad being crushed.”
The school did step in, but the bullying had triggered Cameron’s obsessive compulsive disorder. By last winter, the family decided it was best to move back to Ohio.
Since the move, Cameron is doing much better, and the support of his fellow Buckeye fans has helped.
“(Bullying) affects a kid like you wouldn’t believe,” his father said. “He’s still not back to where he was, but just being popular at the Buckeyes game and people showing him all kinds of love, he was really excited, so I just wanted to share that with people. If any of that helps just one kid to not go through what my son went through, it’s more than worth it.”
After hearing his story, Buckeye fans have come to Cameron’s side. Thanks to a generous donation by fans here on BuckeyeSports.com’s Ask the Insiders message board, Cameron will be back in the stadium with his fellow Ohio State fans for this weekend’s Penn State game and on campus for a pregame tailgate.
In addition, fans have started donating in his honor to the anti-bullying causes like the National Bullying Prevention Center and the Stand Up Foundation.
“My wife had asked him earlier today before he knew, if he was famous, what would he do?” Demetri said. “He said he would help kids, so I came home and said, ‘Hey, you’re helping a lot of kids.’ Having fun on the video board is actually going to end up helping other kids, hopefully, so he’s really excited.”