The Brandon Valley Lynx will be a man short when they hit the state high school football tournament this weekend. During the last regular game of the season, Brandon Valley Senior Josiah McGee was sidelined by an injury. It was an early defeat for an undefeated team.
“It hurts badly,” McGee said as moved unsteadily on crutches. “But once I get laying back it's fine.”
Three weeks later, McGee is confined to his room, spending his days sitting in a wheelchair or lying down. When he has gone out, it's to cheer on his team from the sidelines sitting in a deep red recliner.
“I probably won't go to school for the rest of the semester just because they want me lying without too much movement of the hip,” McGee said.
During the fourth quarter of the final regular season game, McGee went down. His family watched it all happen.
“At first, I thought it was his friend, but then I found out it was him,” his sister, Maggi, said.
“I didn't know he went down at first,” Josiah’s younger brother, Micah, said.
His sister Emali, also thought it was a different player hurt on the field.
“I was like, ‘What just happened?’ And I saw mom ran down on the field and was like, ‘It's Josiah!’” Emali said.
Nearly every muscle, ligament and tendon snapped in McGee’s right leg. It was a play that ended the Brandon Valley Senior's season, sending him to the sidelines while the team continued its undefeated winning streak.
“All of Brandon [are going], people that had kids go 30 years ago are going just because we're back in the dome,” McGee said.
The team will play Sioux Falls Washington in Saturday’s AA match-up at the Dakota Dome. But McGee is going too, thanks to others’ kindness.
“They came up with that camper,” McGee said pointing to an RV parked on the street in front of his Brandon home. “And called and got me a place on the field. It's amazing people care about a person they don't know.”
It was either the RV an uncomfortable ambulance ride. The camper has a bed for him to lie on during the trip to Vermillion. He'll have his chair waiting on the sidelines, watching what he hopes is a victory.
“I wanted that experience. I'm a senior this year. It's my last year. I want to be there when they win,” McGee said.
McGee hopes to be back on his feet by spring in time for track and field season. Thanks to Skype and some help from the school district, he is keeping up with his classes from home.