Koni Dole lost part of his leg less than a year ago, but that hasn't stopped him from doing what he loves -- namely, scoring touchdowns.
After a gruesome football injury in 2012, Dole, then a junior at the Huntley Project High School in Worden, Mont., had the lower half of his right leg amputated. Months later, KRTV reports, Dole was somehow back playing sports, first wrestling then running track.
Doctors typically recommend eight weeks for a patient to learn how to use a prosthesis, but Dole did it in three. By the time most amputees are learning to walk, Dole was running, notes Fox Sports.
Now, just 10 months after losing his leg, the seemingly unstoppable high schooler is back on the football field. In his return game Friday night, Dole scored two touchdowns, helping lead the team to a decisive 45-0 victory.
Yet while the victory of the game was final, so many moments leading up to it were not.
“I felt discouraged when I thought about how much work I put in before this happened,” Dole recalled in an earlier statement to the Billings Gazette. “It was hard to make myself get out of bed every morning to work out. I kept asking if there was even a point to any of it anymore.”
Even now, it isn't easy. The prosthesis he plays with grinds on the remaining bone in his leg, adding extra pain to the hard hits football already dishes out.
“It kills me all the time,” Dole explained to the Billings Gazette after the game. “It started hurting [during the game], but it was nothing I couldn't push through. The feeling of me being out there was overwhelming … taking my mind off the pain.”
In an added victory, KRTV reports Dole has been offered a football scholarship at Montana State University.