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Paul Reyna for 20 years, inspired by the Broncos of Boise State

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Published on Sep 12, 2019

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On the 23rd of August, fell on the twentieth anniversary of the death of Paul Reyna, 19-year-old player of Boise State, who in 1999 lost his life after a collision in the first game of the preseason. After twenty years, his presence on the campus and in the locker room of the football team is still strong, thanks especially to her mother, who had the strength to talk to the students of the University, a few days after the death of his son, telling them that if they wanted to keep alive the memory of Paul and make him proud, to do exactly what he was doing to his son before he died: to play and try to win titles.

Paul Reyna was the third of four brothers, and since high school he was noted for his enormous skills as a defensive lineman, which earned him a call different college. Among all the college Paul chose Boise State, Idaho. On August 7, 1999, Reyna became a student starting immediately to train in order to be ready for the start of the season in September. The last time he saw his mother was on the 12th of August, when she took a flight to return home, not knowing that that was the last time he saw his son alive.

On August 18, 1999 Boise State held the first scrimmage of the season, with Paul Reyna, who, after a slight injury suffered to his hand in training was returned to exercise regularly, trying to earn a jersey in the course of the match; during the match, Reyna collided with a tight end, ending up on the ground and beating his head on the ground. He got up immediately, but all of them noticed that something was wrong when you collapsed to the ground in the sideline. Paul was brought to the hospital for an emergency intervention: had torn a blood vessel between the brain and the skull, and it was forming a blood clot that could result in death. After five days of coma, Paul Reyna was declared dead brain; the family decided to donate organs, saving the life of other people.

The mother, on the day after the death of his son, spoke to 650 students of Boise State, demonstrating impressive strength and speaking words that would have inspired the players of the Broncos for the next twenty years, and that would have been engraved in a plaque that the players see before entering the field, along with the face of his son.

Last Saturday on the occasion of the first home game, against Marshall, the mother of Paul, Carolyn Gusman, is back in the place where his son lost his life, in the role of honorary captain. He spoke to the players telling who was his son, and taking a speech that hopefully will inspire the athletes of Boise State for the next few years, as Paul Reyna and her mother had already done twenty years ago.

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