WEST, Texas (KWTX) A West High School football player who was seriously injured in Friday night’s rivalry game against Whitney, is recovering from surgery and will likely not be paralyzed.
The family of West sophomore Hunter Bleidt, 16, told KWTX he went into surgery Saturday night after three of his vertebrae (C3, C4, and C5) were fractured or broken in an altercation with a player on the opposing team.
According to Bleidt’s older sister, Heather Perry, Bleidt, who was playing on special teams, and the other player both "got tripped up," and the other player fell on her brother who landed on his head, pushing all his weight onto his neck, damaging the vertebrae.
“He’s a lot better today after surgery,” Perry told KWTX Sunday.
“He’s OK and he’s not paralyzed, it could have been so much worse, but who knows what other problems he’s going to have after this because he has a plate now in his neck and some screws and a bracket.”
While she didn’t think it was intentional or malicious, Perry said she thought the other player was being overly aggressive, and after watching film saw the player was constantly pulling on her brother’s jersey and blocking in the back, which is against the rules.
The Trojans beat the Wildcats on their home turf in Whitney, 49-21.
Perry believes the intense rivalry between the two teams was out of control, and the opposing team’s coaches were partly to blame for what happened.