HUTCHISON, Kan. (KSNW) – One week ago, a high school football player was rushed to the hospital hours after taking a hard hit on the field.
As the Hutchinson freshman recovers in Wichita, the community is rallying around him.
“I have heard personally a lot of the boys miss seeing you in the locker room,” says Camille Eckhoff. “Honestly, Gabe is like a second kid to Cody and I. He has been a friend of our son since third grade.”
Gabe ruptured his spleen and fractured his back after taking a tough hit. His mother, Jessica, says he would trade the hospital gown for a Salthawk uniform in a heartbeat.
“That is really hard for him when he has bouts of pain and stuff and being stuck there,” says Jessica Eye. “He is ready to see everybody and ready to be out of there.”
Jessica is here in his place and says he is doing as well as you could expect.
“I think he is really wishing he was able to be here,” says Eye. “He is just super ready to get out. He is tired of being there.”
Down on the sideline, the boys in blue and yellow are missing one of their brothers.
“We have been teammates for three years,” says Justin Corkins. “When somebody goes down, we all go down.”
Gabe is taking steps on his own and getting back on his feet.
“I think he has handled this very well. It is hard,” Eye says. “The kid has been stuck there for a week with just his parents, and he is doing pretty good.”
The team is doing well, but they will be doing even better when Gabe is back out on the field.
“That is Hutch football. That’s Hutch football for you,” Eckhoff says.
Gabe’s mother tells me his appetite and his morale are improving. She hopes that Gabe will leave the hospital this week and be able to return home.
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