As Kainen Boring lies in a trauma unit at Erlanger hospital, his Bledsoe County football teammates are trying to go about their business.
Boring dropped during a practice last week and was later diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation, an abnormal connection between arteries and veins in the brain that usually forms before birth.
"All I can say is that he had a pre-existing condition, and that [report] comes from his parents," Bledsoe coach Jason Reel said Monday night. "That's really all I can say because that's all I know right now about his current situation. His parents have expressed to me that [his life] is up to a higher power and that the fight has just begun."
Boring has been the Warriors' kicker but recently had expressed an interest in becoming more involved, according to Reel.
"We were giving him some opportunities, and he is such a coachable kid that he was showing very good signs of working into a position [inside linebacker]," the coach said.
Reel has spent much of his time trying to make sure his team is focused.
"We tried to have business as usual so we had a walk-through today with the older guys and a JV game at Rhea County for the younger ones," Reel said. "Riley [Wooden] and some of the older guys have expressed to me that Kainen was doing what he loved and that he was giving it 100 percent and they say they will never again take another play for granted. I think the younger kids will follow what they do."
Reel said there would be some form of keeping Boring close whether it was putting his No. 7 on each Bledsoe helmet or even on the field but that no decision had yet been made.
Contact Ward Gossett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-886-4765.