Providence High Football Player Overcomes All Odds To Play The Game He Loves
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — “Fifteen years ago when I was a little boy dressing up like a Carolina Panther, thinking I want to be a football player, never actually in my life did I actually believe I would be on a football field, ” said Jose Gonzalez.
Putting on helmets and pads…something Jose Gonzalez thought about for years, but never thought it could happen for him.
Providence Head Coach Weslee Ward told us “He would just come out and sit there, it did not matter. And then one day we had him talk to the team afterward and he just spoke about how exciting it is for him just to be around. How he wants to be our motivator.”
That talk with Providence High School Players two years ago sparked something in Jose that would lead him to overcome the odds, and eventually play the game he loves. You see, Jose has Cerebral Palsy and spent most of his young life in a wheelchair. He had a painful journey to the football field.
Gonzalez says, “I had this big surgery where they essentially broke my legs, take a piece out, put them back together with glue, bring my kneecaps down. They cut a lot of muscle and I stayed in the hospital in South Carolina for three months rehabbing.”
In the years since that surgery, Jose learned to walk again, with football always on his mind motivating him to keep going. He joined his team on the practice field over the summer. Then on August 26, the day this wide receiver had waited his entire life for finally arrived.
“When the coach called me over to go into the game, I was super excited. You know I cannot really remember the moment. All I remember is everyone cheering. In that moment, it was just surreal for me realizing a dream.”
In that moment, on the field against South Meck, Jose knew he had to share his incredible story.
“I just want to be that kid that is like you have this, it does not matter as long as you work hard and get the right people behind you to support you, you can do anything you want.”