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Northeast Guilford football player behind viral praying photo opens up

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — After an image of him went viral on the FOX8 Facebook page, a Northeast Guilford High School football player talks about praying for an injured teammate.

“It wasn’t for attention. It was something I just felt was needed at the time,” Dillon Goedeck, senior middle linebacker, said.

Goedeck says it’s what happened moments before he moved away from his teammates and took a knee that led him to pray.

His best friend, punter Grayson Bonomo was preparing to punt, but the snap was high.

He attempted to get the first down making his way toward the sideline.

“Players were blocking our view at the time and you just see Grayson taking off,” Goedeck said.

As Bonomo took a few final steps toward the sideline, a player on Ragsdale’s team ran into him.

“And I saw him coming, so I lowered my shoulder and he did too,” Bonomo said.

The two players made helmet to helmet contact — Bonomo was knocked unconscious momentarily.

As medics worked on Bonomo, his teammate, Goedeck, moved away from the team to an area where he could be alone.

“I’m in disbelief that my best friend has been hurt,” Goedeck said.

“I take a step to collect myself and I go and take a knee and I pray — praying for his safety and for his health and that he’ll recover quickly,” he continued.

A parent in the stands took a picture of the moment Goedeck prayed.

Bonomo’s mother, Colleen Siler, posted the picture to the FOX8 Facebook page after receiving it.

“I know prayer works, and I know Dillon took his time and he was asking God to help him. From that, hundreds and thousands of people did too,” she said.

“I felt an instant rush of emotion knowing that my best friend was actually praying for me,” Bonomo said.

Bonomo was treated for a concussion at a nearby hospital.

He was back at school the Tuesday after Friday’s game.

Bonomo will have to wait 10 days before returning to sports and go through a concussion program.

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