Football

He lost a leg to football. But he’ll be playing when season kicks off Saturday.

Kody Kasey, from Pickerington, Ohio, returns kicks and plays in the defensive backfield for Georgetown College.
Kody Kasey, from Pickerington, Ohio, returns kicks and plays in the defensive backfield for Georgetown College.

When Kody Kasey broke his right leg on a special teams play his sophomore season, many thought it would be easy for Kasey to overcome the injury and return to the football field.

In Kasey’s short time at Georgetown College, he had already proven that he was good at overcoming challenges.

“He never got rattled about anything, if things weren’t quite the way he thought they were going to be, he just readjusted,” Georgetown head coach Bill Cronin said.

However, that road to recovery was more difficult than imagined. After Kasey had surgery to repair his broken leg, an infection grew that made it difficult for the leg to heal.

Kasey had additional surgeries on the leg to fight the infection, but no signs of improvement came after the procedures.

That was when Kasey first thought of amputation, a year after the initial injury.

“I knew I wasn’t like scared really, but it was definitely kind of devastating in a way just knowing that you’re going to lose your leg,” Kasey said.

Kasey had his right leg amputated below the knee on Nov. 16, 2015, barely more than a year after the injury. Just over six weeks later, Kasey was given his prosthetic leg, and it was time to get back to work.

“We had the start of school like that next week, we started winter weights and I just jumped right in,” Kasey said.

If things weren’t quite the way he thought they were going to be, he just readjusted.

Bill Cronin

Kasey spent the entire offseason working to get back on to the field. He worked hard to accomplish his dream of playing football again, but he also enjoyed getting to spend time with his teammates.

“Just being out there with my brothers, that alone was just an overwhelming feeling of joy,” Kasey said.

Kasey did play in games for Georgetown last season, where he primarily returned kickoffs. He returned four for 98 yards, with his longest return going 41 yards.

“I just saw daylight and I hit it. I think I was just one guy away (from scoring),” Kasey said. “I really, really wanted to score.”

Kasey now returns for his senior season in hopes of building off what he did last year.

The prosthetic not only gave Kasey the chance to play the game he loves again, but it has also allowed him to chase a future career.

Over the summer, Kasey worked as an intern at the U.S. Marshals offices in Columbus, Ohio. Kasey spent the summer doing routine paperwork, but also got to meet federal judges and follow along on task forces where he witnessed some doors getting kicked down.

Kasey describes following the task forces as an “adrenaline rush.”

“They basically just gave me a lot of knowledge of what I need to know, what I should do, tips and advice,” Kasey said. “They really helped with the internship; it was a really cool experience.”

Kasey has also done internships at Georgetown’s police department, solidifying his belief that he wants to have a career in law enforcement. Kasey wants to work at a federal establishment, but will keep all doors open when he searches for his first job.

Before Kasey starts his career as an officer, he still has one season left of football. After returning kicks for the Tigers last year, Kasey has hopes of returning one this year for a touchdown.

41 yardsThe longest kick return Kasey had his junior year.

Whether Kasey succeeds in his goal, he will still serve as inspiration to the coaching staff, his teammates and anyone who watches him on the field.

“It doesn’t surprise me if he’s one of our team captains, it wouldn’t surprise me if he plays a role on Saturday, it doesn’t surprise me that he’ll continue to inspire and motivate people around him.” Cronin said.

Chris Leach: 859-231-1326, @chrisleach250

Saturday

Georgetown College season opener

When: 2:30 p.m.

Where: Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala.

Last year: Georgetown beat Faulkner 35-21.

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