PETERSBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Petersburg High School's Kelson Thorne is an All-Potomac Valley player at both running back and linebacker, but that kind of success was anything but certain early in his career.
During his freshman season, he fractured his C7 vertebra, which is in the neck.
"To go from breaking your neck your freshman year to even consider playing football again, and not only playing it, but playing it at the high level that he's played it and getting the awards and honors that he has," said Jeff Dodd, Kelson's football coach.
"You go through life and you face obstacles. You go through practice everyday and you work hard to get a goal in that case would be winning," said Kelson.
Kelson's dedication and success on the football field also translates to the classroom.
In addition to playing basketball and running track for the Vikings, he hits the books hard enough to have a 4.0 GPA.
"He's an excellent example for what the younger athletes here at PHS and in the county should aspire to be," said Joshua Kuykendall, Kelson's civics teacher.
"That's something I'm very proud of is being a student athlete, and I also hold my grades very close to my heart as I do my sports," said Kelson.
For Kelson's future, the books and the field hopefully are still ahead for years to come.
"I haven't really decided on a college, but I want to also go to play college to play football and major in biology and further on and go to medical school and become a sports medicine physician," said Kelson.
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