Chance of a Lifetime
Brent Johnson, a senior at Lahser, has been a part of the Lahser football team for four years. As team manager, Johnson has never played in a varsity game. When Johnson was born, he suffered a stroke resulting in right hemi paresis, a condition that caused complete paralysis of his right arm. “Growing up was really hard for me…. I also had to learn everything that I do one-handed; like cooking, playing sports in my free time, playing video games, and typing one-handed,” says Brent. “I still can’t do a lot of things that a person with two hands can do, but that is not making me sad at all.”
Ever since Brent was made an honorary member of the football team, he has been to every game and nearly every practice. Coaches, players and fans alike love him and his positive attitude. When fans heard that he was going to be allowed to play in the last game of the year, his celebrity status was sent to a whole new level.
In preparation for his career debut, Brent practiced with the football team everyday during the last week of the season; when it came time for the game, everybody had the utmost confidence in him. “Before the game I was nervous, but everyone cooled me down. So, when I stepped on the field all of it went away,”said Brent. In spite of the screaming fans and cheering players and coaches, Brent kept a cool head when he got the call to get in the game. Although he did not score, he caught one pass for completion just inches from the end zone.
Many people can find strength in Johnson’s story, “Anything is possible! If you want something, you can get it. Just do your best and it will come. That’s what I did, I never gave up,” said Brent. “I want to say thank you to every fan who came to the game, and all the players and coaching staff for making this possible. This was the best team I’ve worked with in all of high school.”