Yosemite High School is preparing to welcome a member of their family back onto the field

Friday, October 27, 2017 06:41PM
PJ Kutzmintski suffered a horrible accident during football practice last month. On Thursday he reunited with all his teammates for the first time after weeks of recovery.

FRESNO, Calif. - On Friday night this silent field will be filled with the football fans of Badger Country.

But this year, Yosemite High School's homecoming game is more than just about winning -- it is about welcoming back a member of their family.

"It felt great, it felt like the team was coming together ....and I was coming right back with them," said Kuzmintski.

On Thursday, PJ Kuzmintski reunited with all his teammates for the first time after weeks of recovery.

In late September, the young football player suffered a horrific accident after a tackle during practice.

"I can't even tell you what was going through my mind when it happened...it happened...I yelled I think I broke my leg," said Kuzmintski.

Doctors were left with no choice but to remove a portion of his right leg.

It did not take long for the community to come together, many of his friends and other football teams from across the Central Valley came to visit PJ while he was recovering.

Anita Johnson with the team's Booster Club says the amount of support they have received has been overwhelming.

"Badger Strong ...PJ tough," a new slogan is now a symbol of strength in the Oakhurst Mountain Community. Johnson says they are now hoping to raise 200 thousand dollars while partnering with non-profit organizations to get PJ new prosthetics.

"These are prosthetics that Paralympic athletes compete with. We want to give PJ every opportunity to continue his level of athletics that he's comfortable with," said Johnson.

PJ says he is slowly healing, taking it one day at a time, and says he hopes to inspire others through his recovery.

On Friday night Johnson says he will be named Captain of his JV football team.. But PJ says the most important thing to him is being back with his Badger family.

"I'm excited for me to finally be myself, and live a normal life....I just want someone to see me as me," said Kuzmintski.
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