PORTLAND, Mich. (WLNS) – A 6th grade football team is rallying – for a member of an opposing team.
During a game between Mason and Portland Karson Campbell, 11, was injured so severely he was taken away in an ambulance.
“He went to go tackle the quarterback and his foot slipped, he said,” says Ashley Campbell, Karson’s mother. “And he ended up just going straight into his chest and he fell down to the ground. And then he jumped back up and was just shaking.”
Karson was taken the emergency room at a local hospital where he was diagnosed with multiple vertebrae fractures in his back.
The hit, says Oakley Anderson, Karson’s teammate, caused a scare for everyone.
“I’ve seen him get hurt before,” says Anderson, 11. “He looked fine and he typically just laughs, but he was, like, scared.”
And the players on the Mason team were just as scared.
“When I hit him, I knew it was gonna be a bad hit,” says Aiden Scheurer, 11. “So, when I found out the ambulance was coming, and he was sitting on the sideline hurt, it kind of, you know, it made me sad that I had to make someone go to the hospital.”
Mason players and their parents say they didn’t want Karson to feel along during the traumatic situation. Nicole Putnam took to Facebook to get in touch with his family. Thursday, the Mason team was able to surprise Karson with gifts and support.
“Our teams really got to see that sportsmanship is important.” Putman tells 6 News. “We’re representing themselves in those jerseys, we’re representing the school, the Mason community. And you can want the win but when you’re off the field it’s important that we’re good humans too.”
With the cheering and support, both Karson and the Mason players say it was joyful.
“He was happy and it was nice to know that he knew that people were supporting him and caring for him when he was hurt,” Mason player Brenden Kibbe, 11, says.
Kason tells 6 News he’s thankful and wants to hit the gridiron again next year.
“They circled me up and I felt really good,” Karson tells 6 News. “They did ‘1,2,3 Karson!’ and then ‘1,2,3 Family.’ and then ‘1,2,3 get well soon,’” Karson says.
He’s in good spirits. He is going to be in a brace for about 12 weeks – but he’s excited to get back into sports. There is also a GoFundMe available to help Karson and his family out.