Yosemite High junior varsity football player Peter “PJ” Kuzmitski, 14, received some cheering up this week as he rehabilitates from a horrible injury that required the amputation of his right leg below the knee.
Sunday evening, PJ’s teammates and Clovis High players visited him at Valley Children’s Hospital where he has been rehabilitating since suffering the injury Oct. 8. Among the gifts delivered was a get-well banner from the Caruthers High football team and a football signed by the Clovis varsity team.
“Football really teaches a brotherhood, making relationships,” said Clovis JV player Joshua De La Cruz. “His face lit up, I thought that was great. That made me feel good. … It’s better to get through it with somebody than by yourself.”
Friday is Yosemite’s Homecoming game, and PJ has been named the honorary captain of the JV team. He will be on the field for the coin toss for the varsity game.
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The injury happened on the practice field and coaches immediately called for an ambulance. Surgeons at Community Regional Medical Center performed an hourslong vascular operation but the injury was so severe that amputation was necessary.
Tailgate Party Friday
Mountain Muscle’s second annual Homecoming Tailgate Party will be a fundraiser for PJ and his family.
The event begins at 4 p.m. Friday at The Landing, directly across the road from Yosemite High at 50089 High School Road in Oakhurst.
Meloni Mullins of Mountain Muscle said organizers are hoping to see hundreds at the party – and therefore asking for attendees to bring a food donation to share. People who want to share are asked to RSVP on the Mountain Muscle Facebook page.
There is no cost to attend the Tailgate Party although donations will be accepted on behalf of the Kuzmitski family.
A week of special activities and competitions on the YHS campus will culminate with the Homecoming game Friday at 7 p.m. when the Badgers (6-0) host the Amador High Buffaloes (3-5). Last season in Sutter Creek, the Buffaloes beat YHS 35-7. The JV game is at 5 p.m.