Boone & Elijah return for Kuna football

KUNA, Idaho (KBOI) - Boone Bartlome and Elijah Minnick were recognized before the season opening game in Kuna Friday night, along with the doctors who helped them. Both almost didn't even make it after facing life-threatening injuries.

There is no better place to be on a Friday night in Kuna then watching the Kavemen take the field.

For Boone Bartlome and Elijah Minnick, even being able to be here was an achievement in itself.

Elijah was able to suit up and play at his normal position at left tackle. Boone is still in a wheel chair, but still joked with players that he was ready to play receiver.

After breaking his neck during a game last November, Boone didn't know if he would even be able to move again. After months of therapy he can now walk with crutches and is getting stronger.

Shortly after that injury his fellow teammate Elijah was hospitalized with a severe infection, faced organ failure, and was in a coma for weeks.

Boone still makes it to most of the practices, and cheers the team on. He admits it was hard not being able to suit up tonight.

"I've been pretty good up until today," said Boone. "Getting out here seeing all these guys getting jacked up before the game it was a little tough on me, but I'm excited to see how they're going to do this year and see how it plays out."

Boone said he was happy to see Elijah back in pads. Even though Boone didn't get to play he did give the pregame speech to his team to fire them up. He also highlighted why they should enjoy this time.

"I told them that if you have the opportunity to make a play in any way if at all then do it," said Boone. "Because when you're done you're going to look back and that's the stuff you're going to hold on to."