PHOTO GALLERY: Community helps boy reach for dreams

Caiden Thompson gets dressed in his jersey before playing his season’s final game. The 49ers lost to the Bengals in their first two meetings this year, but were hoping to upset the undefeated team. “Now I want us to get a win tomorrow,” said one of Caiden’s coaches. “But I’ll be honest, one team has got to lose, so bring your pads and helmets to turn them if that’s us.”


Caiden Thompson is a strong-willed, compassionate and kind hearted sixth grader, his mother Kim said. After school, the two are inseparable throughout his extracurricular activities. This year, Kim was deemed the “Team Mom” of the 49ers, Caiden’s local football team.

“Caiden doesn’t have a male figure who is consistently present in his life,” she said. “But he doesn’t let that hold him back.” He instead fills his life with strong community role models, including coaches, his favorite teacher and close friend Amber Priest and his mother who works on the Parent Teacher Organization at Lost River Elementary. 

These strong figures in his life have fostered in Caiden a love of academics and reading. He now reads at a twelfth grade level and competes on his school’s academic team. Caiden is as complicated as he is curious, and one day hopes to play in the NFL.