Kaden Clymer, a junior lineman, had blood clots removed from his 6-foot legs days before the season opener.

USEON, Ohio — It’s hard to match the level of excitement high school football players get when their season is about to begin. However, imagine this entire structure collapsing on you.

Unfortunately, that turned out to be the reality the Wauseon junior had to face.

There was never any doubt Caden Clymer would make an impact on the field. However, doing so without overlays came without warning.

“It started on August 1st,” Kaden’s mother Maureen Clymer said. “His dad took him to the emergency room after he had severe pain in his back and legs.”

Teammate Tyson Rodriguez added: “I was a bit confused because I didn’t know what was going on. He just told me he wasn’t feeling well.”

The night before the Wasson Indians took the field for their first fall practice, Clymer unexpectedly had to be rushed to Toledo Children’s Hospital.

“His calves were four inches larger in circumference than they are now,” Maureen Clymer said. “So he was very uncomfortable.”

Caden Clymer added, “I just wanted to go home. I didn’t care what they did to me, I just wanted to go home.”

Full of pain and uncertainty, Clymer received word that he had blood clots in his legs.

“I was really sad. I was crying and upset because I’ve been playing football my whole life and I just wanted to play with my friends,” the junior lineman said.

Six feet of blood clots were removed, and because of the blood thinners he must now take, Clymer’s football career is over.

“I was just getting ready for practice, we were really looking forward to seeing him on Friday night,” his mother said.

After nine days in the hospital, Clymer returned to the team despite barely being able to walk.

“I’m very happy to be able to spend time with my friends,” Kaden said. “It means a lot to me to be able to get back on the field and have fun with them.”

Rodríguez added: “It was strange not seeing him, but it’s good to have him back. He’s our guy, so it’s great to see him here.”

A life-changing experience that proved the mettle of this young man.

“I’m very strong and kind because it took a lot of effort to stay in the hospital for nine days straight,” Clymer said. “Eating hospital food and going through all these procedures, it really sucks.”

Unfortunately, Clymer still has a long road to recovery. Not only are doctors still trying to figure out exactly what happened to Cayden, but every day the strength in his legs comes at a cost.

“He gets jabs in his stomach every day, twice a day, which is not fun,” Maureen Clymer said. “I don’t like giving them to him, and I know he doesn’t like getting them. However, he does it with a smile and we appreciate it. It could have been much worse.”

There is good news to share: Clymer is getting better every day and is expected to continue playing baseball, his favorite sport.

In the meantime, his role in the team is to continue to progress and inspire.

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