VICTORIA, Minn. (WCCO) — A Gopher football recruit, and this year’s Mr. Football, is happy to be walking the halls at Holy Family High School again after what happened last week while he was climbing in the Grand Canyon.
“Bam, just got drilled in the head with a boulder. Got knocked unconscious, when I came through, everything was ringing and … I guess I was bleeding everywhere,” said Peter Westerhaus.
Three ambulance rides later, he was in a hospital with 50 stitches in his head and a story to tell.
“I know there was no bleeding or anything in the brain, which was huge news. We didn’t know if I was going to need surgery to get a plate in my skull,” he said.
Westerhaus is young and bright with great potential as a student athlete. A senior at Holy Family High School, he accepted a football scholarship to play for the Gophers next year.
Now the question is, can he return to the gridiron?
“There is no question in my mind that his work ethic and his mental fortitude — if he says he’ll be back playing next fall, he’ll be back playing next fall,” said Holy Family football coach Dave Hopkins.
But Minnesota’s Mr. Football has learned much in many regards.
“It’s just a scary, scary moment. Definitely showed the power of prayer,” said Westerhaus.
And his dream is still in reach for a kid that loves — and lives — football.
“He didn’t sleep with a football when he was younger, he slept with this helmet on. That’s how much he liked football … he should have had his helmet on when he was rock climbing,” said Hopkins.
Westerhaus and his family are also thankful he was flanked while hiking, by his much smaller mother and younger brother.
A boulder like the one that hit him might have forced one of them off the cliff.