Team Honors Injured Player

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Sept. 13, junior Wyatt Simmons was at home with his mother, waiting for the feeling in his legs to return, deciding when they should go to the hospital.

“It was a blood hemorrhage shaped like a dumbbell wrapped around my spinal cord. It really hurt at first. One night at about 11 p.m. I started losing feeling in my legs. By 5 a.m. I had no feeling in my legs,” Simmons said.

Sept. 14, Simmons was on his way into surgery, believing he would not fully walk for the next six months.

“It was probably [Sept. 16] when I started walking with a walker at the hospital, with a lot of help,” Simmons said.

Sept. 19, Puyallup High School’s football team used their home game against Kentlake High School as an opportunity to honor their teammate during his time of distress.

“He was in the hospital and was not supposed to really do anything but he convinced the hospital to let him go to the game in his wheelchair, which was pretty hardcore of him to do. He was really excited to be there,” senior and football captain Matt Voss said.

According to football coach Gary Jeffers, acknowledging their fellow player was a team effort

“I think it was our whole team but our captains certainly initiated it. It made me feel proud of our kids that they felt like it was important to take care and recognize one of their brothers,” Jeffers said.

Simmons was always looking for little ways to add to the team. He was grateful when he found out what his fellow players were doing for him.

“I was honored and a little bit confused because I had never really seen myself as being the center of attention. I always wanted to just help out the team so I was honored when they dedicated [the game] to me,” Simmons said.

Wyatt Simmons’ brother, sophomore Dylan Simmons, was touched by the dedication.

“It was awesome, they had the stickers on their helmets and it was the coolest thing. The fact that they dedicated the game to him just shows how much they appreciate the football team,” Dylan Simmons said.

Friendships were enlightened and with it came a stronger sense of brotherhood. Wyatt Simmons says he has improved his relationships with others through these few weeks of regaining health.

“Like my brother for example, we were at each other’s throats at one point and then this happened and now we are best friends, which I really appreciate,” Wyatt Simmons said.

Voss confirmed that there is a new found connection between Wyatt Simmons and his fellow peers.

“We gave him a helmet with all of our signatures on it and a picture that we all signed. It was good to see him [at the game],” Voss said. “I know for a fact that a lot of other guys feel like they know Wyatt a lot better.”