Beyond the Game: Breckenridge football player battles on and off the fieldBreckenridge, MN (WDAY TV) - Tonight's Beyond the game feature takes us to Breckenridge. The Cowboys just wrapped up their football season this past week. But there's a player on the team that sees this season as a complete victory for other reasons.
By: Jody Norstedt, WDAY
Breckenridge, MN (WDAY TV) - Tonight's Beyond the game feature takes us to Breckenridge. The Cowboys just wrapped up their football season this past week. But there's a player on the team that sees this season as a complete victory for other reasons.
Jack Heideman tries to make the most out of every run.
Jack Heideman: I just try to get around people. I'm not going to run over people all the time. But if I have to put my head down, I will.
The senior running back for Breckenridge may not look like the strongest player on the field on a Friday night, but looks don't always tell the whole story.
Chad Fredericksen, Breckenridge Head Coach: He's not the biggest guy in the world and when guys get ahold of him, they throw him around pretty good.
“He takes some shots and he gets up after everyone.”
3 years ago, Jack suffered a hit more painful than anything you could experience on a football field.
Jack Heideman: Half way through the wrestling season my knee started bugging me. I didn't think anything of it. I thought it was just bruises.
Kevin Heideman: We knew something was wrong with his knee because he couldn't bend it all the way.
Kevin Heideman and his wife Anna, brought Jack to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, where Jack underwent several tests on his right knee. On May 9th, 2011, Jack was diagnosed with Large B-Cell Lymphoma, a treatable form of blood cancer.
Jack Heideman: I was kind of taken aback right away, like "oh wow" and then they said that I was going to lose my hair and I thought, I don't want to do that. That's no fun.
Jack decided to shave his hair as he went through a full year of chemotherapy. His baseball teammates did the same to show support for their friend.
Kevin Heideman: Those kids will probably never realize how big of an event that was or how much it meant. But, it really truly did. That was a gigantic thing that they did.
Jack Heideman: I would have a stretch of seven or eight days where I felt awful and then I'd have 10 or 12 good days. So, I just tried to get through the bad days and look forward to the good days.
Now a year and a half after becoming cancer-free, Jack is again proving that he can take the hit and get back up. He led the Cowboys in rushing this fall, while scoring six touchdowns.
Kevin Heideman: We just took a lot of this for granted until this happened. So now, every game we cherish.
Jack Heideman: You never know if you're going to have a good day or a bad day. And the bad days aren't as bad as they normally are for some people.
Breckenridge had its season ended on Saturday by top ranked Holdingford