Norfolk Catholic football player gets support from team - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Norfolk Catholic football player gets support from team after spinal injury

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When Norfolk Catholic's Isaac Pfeifer took the football field on Tuesday in the playoffs, he and his family had no idea that a few minutes later he'd suffer a life changing spinal injury.

His family and friends are showing their support and praying for his recovery. His teammates made the two hour trip to the Nebraska Medical Center to let him know they're on his side.

What seemed like a typical play at a high school football game Tuesday night, had way more serious consequences.

"The Fort Calhoun team ran a screen and the young man went up to catch the ball and Isaac made a textbook tackle. He just came in and hit the man like he was suppose to and it just landed wrong," said Isaac's father Neil Pfeifer.

He watched his son Isaac take a bad fall.

"it just looked like they got the wind knocked out of them maybe a concussion at worst and pretty soon the trainers walked over there and the next thing we see is both teams on their knees. We kind of knew when things weren't happening quickly something was wrong," he said.

And something was wrong. The Norfolk Catholic senior linebacker, couldn't feel anything in his lower body. He suffered a spinal cord injury and was airlifted to Nebraska Medical Center. Doctors operated on Wednesday.

"They rebuilt a vertebrae, the C6 vertebrae in his neck and they did everything medically possible that they could for Isaac," said Neil Pfeifer.

Friday, his whole football team made the two hour drive to see their teammate in the hospital. They say he's the same old Isaac.

"He likes to laugh, crack jokes all the time. Always positive about everything so that's just the Isaac we know," said senior Kyle Schaefer.

And as the team heads back to Norfolk for practice ahead of Tuesday's playoff game, they pray for Isaac's recovery.

"We know he'd do anything to be there for us we know he's there in spirit. We'll miss him but he still has a special place on this team," Schaefer said.

Isaac's father says his son will move to a rehab facility in Lincoln, Nebraska next week.

He says it could be anywhere from months, to a year before doctors know the extent of Isaac's injury.

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