OAKHURST, Calif. (KGPE/CNN) - When PJ Kuzmitski is on the field, he always brings his A-game and his A-plus smile.
When PJ Kuzmitski is on the field, he always brings his A-game and his A+ smile (Source: KGPE/CNN0
“Always put a smile on your face. There’s always a bright side. You’ve always got to chase the bright side,” Kuzmitski explained.
The 16-year-old shows a remarkable amount of positivity for someone who has been through so much the past two years.
An injury at football practice in 2017 resulted in the amputation of part of his leg.
"If there's any chance of me getting back into the sport, I'm going to try and do it," Kuzmitski said.
That dedication brought him to where he is now – back on the field. He even scored a touchdown for the Yosemite Badgers during his first game back.
“I’m pretty sure a lot of those kids thought for a while, ‘We’re probably never going to play with PJ again,’" head coach Chance Sigla said. “And for him to come back like this and play is just, it’s an inspiration.”
Kuzmitski said football is what he loves most in his life and he couldn’t stand having to sit out and watch.
As for his mom, Susie Kessler, his return to the gridiron brought about mixed emotions.
"You don't sign these waivers expecting for your child to lose a limb," Kessler stressed.
Even so, she said it was all worth it to see her son follow his dreams.
"He is taking it so incredibly well. He doesn't think of it as a handicap. He thinks of it as being normal," Kessler said.
As Kuzmitski adjusts to a new norm, he’s looking forward to getting a new athletic prosthetic and continuing his promising wrestling career.
"Don't ever stop doing what you love. That's the only thing that's going to get you through it," Kuzmitski said.
Kuzmitski said he also wants to try playing baseball. He’s hoping to continue playing sports in college.
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