Kuna football player guest of honor at wrestling match

Credit: Mike di Donato/ KTVB

Kuna football player guest of honor at wrestling match

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by Stephanie Zepelin

Bio | Email | Follow: @ktvbstephanie

KTVB.COM

Posted on February 21, 2014 at 11:30 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 21 at 11:37 PM

BOISE -- Late last year, Kuna football player Boone Bartlome broke his neck in a football game against Bishop Kelly.

Friday night, the two schools faced off again, but this time in wrestling, and Boone was the guest of honor. His homecoming was yesterday, but there are still a lot of people who wanted to say hi to Boone.

It's taken weeks of rehabilitation and a good dose of humor to get Boone back in the Treasure Valley. He was injured about three months ago, and has spent much of that time at a hospital in Colorado.

The last time he faced the black and gold of Bishop Kelly was the night he was injured. Friday night, he was a guest of honor, and the competition is replaced by a sense of brotherhood. Boone said many of the Bishop Kelly football players showed up in the waiting room the night he was taken to the hospital.

"It's just been hearing stories since I got hurt," Boone said. "Just got a huge fan club now, so it's pretty awesome."

There is still rehab and readjusting left, but Boone is still focused on supporting those around him.

"It felt good to get back here and kind of put some people's mind at ease that I'm ok, I'm going to get better," Boone said.

Danny Kilpatrick played football with Boone last season. He said Boone was one of the first people to welcome him when he moved into the Kuna district. Kilpatrick was on the field the night Boone got hurt. He said having him back helped the Kavemen wrestle Friday.

"Seeing that, and seeing him come like this, this far, it's amazing," said Kilpatrick, "it's amazing seeing him right now."

His Kuna teammates weren't the only ones who were excited to have him at Friday's match.

"There's some close contacts with Kuna," said Bishop Kelly wrestling coach, Chad Blue. "Boone's like a brother to us, so we're just honored and happy."

Blue was on the field that night, and has followed Boone's progress via Facebook.

"I tell you what, for me just to see him tonight and actually get to speak with him...I told him, 'the one thing you can do for me is if I could get just a picture with you' because we've followed him, he's very dear to our hearts," said Blue.

Boone hasn't lost his humor and is just excited to be back.

"I just learned that if you stick at it hard enough, if you have enough motivation you can live life however you want," Boone said. "Dont let things get you down, I'm not letting this get me down and I know I'll be better one day, back to normal."

Boone wore number two for Kuna football. Friday, all the wrestlers had "4#2" on their calves for Boone.

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