GREENVILLE – Kyle Bruner, a 2014 GHS graduate, now a senior Wittenberg University football player will spend his final year on the sidelines after recent career ending knee injury.
“Just got rolled up on in practice,” said Bruner of his Tuesday injury. “It’s just a normal football injury – kind of freak thing. Sometimes you’re the bug and sometimes you’re the windshield and it’s things that happen.”
Dr. Kremchek, the Cincinnati Reds surgeon performed the needed surgery to repair Bruner’s torn MCL and PCL at Beacon Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Cincinnati.
“I’ve been healthy playing football for a long time now and unfortunately bad timing,” stated Bruner. “Dr. Kremchek is the team doctor for Wittenberg. He’s a Wittenberg graduate, does a lot for the Wittenberg guys and students. He’s a really good doctor, really great guy.”
“I’m down for 6-weeks on crutches and then a few months of physical training,” added Bruner. “After that Dr. Kremchek said I should be able to be moving around, working out, running, doing whatever I want to do, just obviously not going to be able to play football this year. Here in a few months I’ll be back on my feet and ready to go.”
Bruner could come back next year with one year of eligibility remaining but is not going to take advantage of that option.
“Where I’m at education wise having all my credits fulfilled, I think what is best for me is go ahead and move on and find my role on the team in a different way and cheer my guys on. It’s a tough pill to swallow but that is what I have to do.”
“I played with a bunch of guys that have been hurt and they are just freak things,” said Bruner of his years of playing football. “It’s a lot of fun and it’s one of the best times of my life. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Just an unfortunate thing (injury) and it’s just part of the game.”
Bruner played for GHS Coach Aaron Shaffer, a former Wittenberg All-American football player and coach and hopes to one day also coach.
“I know Coach Shaffer has gone through some injuries when he was in college,” Bruner said. “He told me what any coach would say; keep my head up, stay positive and just try to find your role on the team in a different way.”
“Although it’s the end of playing football for me, it doesn’t have to be the end of football for me,” continued Bruner. “I think now it just gives me the opportunity to step back and watch coach Fincham in different ways and learn from different coaches to help me be a better coach after I graduate.”
An education is important to Bruner and gives credit to his mother, Teresa Bruner and his older sister (Holly Bruner) for their support and encouragement.
“With my education degree, that was one of my main goals – to try to coach football and baseball after I graduate,” said Bruner.
“Education means a whole lot,” stated Bruner. “I learned from my sister. She’s the first person in our family to ever graduate from college. She just graduated with her Master’s Degree so she has really paved the way for me, pushed me and showed me what an education can get you.”
“My mom has been a really big influence and preached that my education is the most important thing in my life right now and I think just being able to make an impact on kid’s lives is important too.”
Life has not always been easy for Bruner having lost his father at a young age but gives credit to family, friends, coaches and teammates for helping him through the difficult times.
“I think I’ve been really lucky although I have dealt with … I don’t want to say I’ve been dealt a crappy hand,” said Bruner. “I know there are people out there that have had it a lot worse than I have.”
“I just think that my family; I have a really strong family that really supports me, really loves me, cares for me and I also have a really good base of friends,” continued Bruner. “I think that is really important. I think one of the most important things that you do in life is build relationships with people and just my relationship with my family and my friends, and just my outlook on things – sometimes bad things happen to great people and it’s all about how you want to tackle adversity and how you want to take things on.”
“I have always been the type of person that I didn’t want people to feel bad for me about things so I’ve always tried to put my nose down and just keep pushing through,” said a determined Bruner. “It’s just because how I was raised by my mom, my grandparents (Dave and Sue Barnette) and my dad (Dave Bruner) and I know that he would want me to keep pushing. I think there are greater things out there for people and there are always going to be hick-ups in people’s lives – it’s just how you tackle these things.”
“GHS alum and Wittenberg University senior football player recoups at home following surgery. (Gaylen Blosser photo)