A D.C. Everest football player is still in the hospital Wednesday, after suffering a near-fatal injury last Friday.
It was the final game of the season last Friday for the D.C. Everest Evergreens. They had hoped to end on a high note with a win against Green Bay's Bay Port High School and enjoy a night of celebration. But neither happened.
"There was a minute left and a big pass play," said D.C. Everest Coach Luke Coenen. "Both the receiver and Mitch went up in the air and the receive caught the ball."
"He landed on the ground and then the receiver landed on him," said teammate Wyatt Brown.
At first, Coach Coenen and his team thought their defensive back, Mitch Boals, had just gotten the wind knocked out of him. Boals even felt well enough to go back into the game, but when he came off the field again, "He started spitting up blood so that's when we knew something was wrong, we just didn't know what," Brown said.
Number four was rushed to the St. Vincent's Hospital in Green Bay, where he underwent surgery. There was extensive internal bleeding in his stomach. The doctors said it was the kind of injury someone would get from a serious car accident, not contact from another person.
"I've been a coach for 24 years and I've never seen or heard of anything like it," Coach Coenen said.
Had Boals gone home on the bus with the rest of the team that night, doctors believe there's a good chance he wouldn't have made it back to Wausau alive.
"It's very scary that he could have, so I'm very glad he didn't," Brown said. "It just puts that in perspective that every play could be your last play."
Boals was expected to come home Wednesday night, but doctors pushed the day back to this Thursday or Friday. They believe part of the reason his injuries were so severe was because the player who landed on top of the 5'10" athlete was 6'4" and much larger than Boals.