KoniIn what started as a tragic turn of events for a 16 year old high school athlete from Montana in 2012, has turned in to quite the story of determination and triumph over 2013. In last year’s high school football season finale, 16 year old Koni Dole of Huntley Project High School in Worden, MT  made a tackle in which he  suffered a compound fracture in his right leg, breaking it in two places. After six surgeries to try and repair the leg, Koni developed compartment syndrome, which is when there is extreme pressure in a muscle compartment and involves nerve damage and no blood flow to a specific area of the body. The doctors informed Koni that if he ever wanted to be active on the field again, his best course of action would be to amputate the leg.

Koni proceeded with the doctors suggestion and vowed to make his current situation a thing of minimal limits. Within two months of surgery, he took up wrestling and track just to stay active and get some work in on his new prosthetic leg. With a pure will to overcome an obstacle most would have a tough time doing, he returned to the football field for game action this past weekend. In what was an emotional and proud moment for all who know him, Koni scored two touchdowns as the team’s running back, and recorded one sack on defense. Dole said he plays through constant pain as the bone and prosthetic are constantly rubbing on one another, “It started hurting during the game, but it wasn’t nothing I couldn’t push through. The feeling of me being out there was overwhelming, taking my mind off the pain.”  From what all of his teammates and coaches are quoted as saying, Koni’s determination and attitude are unmatched by most kids his age. As a senior this year, his relentless drive to overcome such an extreme circumstance has opened eyes and has paid off in the form of a walk-on scholarship at Montana State for next year’s college football season. We are looking forward to keeping an eye on Koni and his remarkable journey.

[Billings Gazette]