Sprik for six: Paralyzed Platte-Geddes senior scores memorable touchdown
PLATTE -- Platte-Geddes fans won’t soon forget this statement: Brady Sprik punched one in Friday.
In the waning moments of a 42-6 win over Gregory, Platte-Geddes coach Bruce Hanson called a timeout and called Sprik’s number.
Sprik, who was involved in a serious vehicle accident in 2017 and is paralyzed from the mid-chest down, wheeled onto the field and scored Platte-Geddes’ most memorable touchdown of the season.
The senior lined up beside quarterback Kelby VanDerWerff, who after calling the cadence, handed the ball to Sprik. After standing up from his wheelchair, VanDerWerff and Nate Whalen each stood at Sprik’s side and assisted him toward the end zone.
Seven steps and two yards later, Sprik scored and forever has a place in Platte-Geddes football lore.
“Ecstatic,” Sprik said later about his emotions on the play. “I was just really happy. It’s been three years since I put pads on and it feels good.”
After the score, Sprik sat back in his wheelchair and both teams huddled around him, congratulating him for the special moment. With the football tucked under his left arm, Sprik took off his helmet and wheeled back to the sideline.
Sprik, who was smiling ear to ear, was then greeted by Hanson and cheers from teammates and fans.
“We are building a team atmosphere here and he’s a big part of that,” Hanson said. “The kids wanted to do that last series for him.”
Last season, Hanson told Sprik he would get him into the end zone. He mentioned it again Wednesday preparing for Gregory and the team practiced it leading into Friday.
The two coaching staffs talked about it beforehand and Gregory coach John King instructed his players to back away from the line of scrimmage.
“I am glad I was able to do it and huge thanks to the Gregory coaches for agreeing to this and letting me do this,” Sprik said. “It was a pleasure.”
It also put the ultimate exclamation point on the win, which was Platte-Geddes’ first over Gregory since 2004. It also gave the Black Panthers (7-0) at least a share of the Missouri Valley Conference title.
“It makes sitting on the sideline a whole lot easier to sit there and watch them win and have fun,” Sprik said.
On Friday night, Sprik joined the fun.
“It was awesome,” VanDerWerff said. “I wish more than anything he could be on the field with us right now, but to help walk him in, it was a great feeling.”
Sprik was injured almost exactly three years ago, with the accident occurring on Oct. 12, 2017. He sustained serious injuries, including several broken ribs and teeth, fractured his back in seven places and is paralzyed from the mid-chest down. He also sustained a collapsed lung and had major dental damage.