Minnesota Town Rallies Around Young Athlete Paralyzed In Game

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — People of a small Minnesota town are rallying behind a high school football player who lost feeling in his legs after making a tackle.

It happened last Friday night when Hills-Beaver Creek senior Trenton Bass collided with another player. Since then, he’s undergone surgery and doctors still aren’t sure if he will walk again.

Now his community and teammates are lending their support.

For the Hills-Beaver Creek football team, practice is on their mind, but a teammate is in their hearts.

“I’ve dealt with players down before, but when it’s your brother, it’s a totally different feeling,” Trenton’s brother and Hills-Beaver Creek assistant coach Dalton Bass said. “It’s not a good one.”

With about a minute and a half left to go in last Friday night’s game, Dalton watched as his brother tried to make a key tackle.

“The running back’s thigh came across his head, and instantly he kind of went face down and wasn’t moving,” Dalton said.

It was a heart-stopping moment for Trenton’s teammates on the field, and on the sideline.

“I knew it was something different,” Rex Metzger said. “When we went out there and see him down — at first you think the wind is knocked out of him, or a stinger, and then, all of the sudden, it gets a little more real.”

Trenton, a senior leader and captain, couldn’t move anything and couldn’t feel anything. He was taken to a Sioux Falls hospital.

“His C5 [vertebrae] was fractured in his neck, and then his C6 was completely broken, which was compressed against his spinal cord, which was obviously causing the most damage,” Dalton said.

Doctors still aren’t sure what the long term future holds for Trenton, but what is clear is the love and support he’s receiving.

“Trenton” has become a rallying cry — not just for the team, but for the entire community. There’s a feeling in the small town that Trenton will, slowly but surely, get better and better.

“We try not to think of the medical side, and we just try to move him forward every day,” Dalton said.

A small town and a small school are now “Trenton Strong.” Teammates like Easton Harnack have even stayed with him in the hospital.

“If there’s anyone in the world that can make it out of this, it’s him,” Easton said. “So I really believe in him.”

“Football is not the most important thing here,” Metzger said. “It’s Trenton right now, and our guys understand that we’re going to rally around him, we’re going to do whatever we can for him.”

Trenton’s brother told John that he’s starting to do more with his arms.

If you’d like to help with Trenton’s recovery, you can donate on his YouCaring site.

More from John Lauritsen
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