Lucas Hilger has made a return to the Bloomer Blackhawks football team after he was involved in a car crash this last summer.
BLOOMER, Wis. (WEAU) -- "I play middle linebacker on defense," said Lucas Hilger.
Football is more than a passion for Hilger. It has been a way of life.
"I've been in football since 5th grade, playing youth football, playing high school football, too," he said.
But this summer, on the heels of his final season in Bloomer, everything took a turn in a matter of seconds.
"I've never been on the road I was driving on, and I was coming around a corner, going too fast and went over the center line and hit a semi head-on," he said.
He was able to walk away from the crash, even had the strength to get himself home and sleep it off.
"It's like a bad dream, only we got to wake up and most parent's don't, so we're glad he came out of it," said Kathy Hilger, Lucas' mom.
"Last January I was in a worse accident than that, I knew what to think, I knew what to do, I was scared of course," Lucas Hilger said.
But when he woke up reality hit hard. His parents remember that day.
"After he sat around for a while, the aches and pains started setting in, so we took him in," his mom said.
Orthopedic specialists told him he would need to stay off the field for twelve weeks, cutting into a big chunk of his senior year of football.
"He's been so good about it, he's a team player, he's encouraging, I'm sure he's upset, but he's never wavered from being a leader on the team," his coach, John Post, said.
But Lucas worked just as hard off the field during the season to get back on the field as soon as he could. And within about six weeks he was able to cut his recovery time in half and is playing football once again. Motivated by his true passion.
"I was told I couldn't play, so I really wanted to play because we have a decent team this year, just wanted to be part of that," he said.