BC’s Guthrie returns to see Jackson Bowl

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Sometimes, victories aren’t displayed by the score on the scoreboard.

Sometimes, victories are achieved by just simply being there.

In the case of Brownstown Central football player Dravin Guthrie, this was one of those times.

Guthrie, a sophomore at BCHS, has been involved with his own battle of recovery in the hospital while his teammates have been fighting week after week on the gridiron.

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Since Sept. 1, Guthrie has been at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the end of August. Surgeons removed most of the tumor, and doctors determined he has juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma, or JPA, a low-grade tumor, and he has been recuperating ever since.

On Friday night, he was finally reunited with this teammates.

Given a pass by his doctors, Guthrie was able to greet his teammates before the Jackson Bowl. Being cooped up in the hospital, this is something he has desperately wanted to do.

“I’m pretty excited. It feels great out here,” Guthrie said.

Donning his No. 9 jersey, Guthrie also got to lead his teammates out onto the field at Bulleit Stadium and then got to watch his comrades overpower the Owls for their seventh Jackson Bowl victory.

Just getting to the game would have been enough to lift his spirits, said his mother, Shawna Gray, but a win goes even further.

“His doctors were talking about how we could raise his spirits,” Gray said. “I said, ‘There’s a Jackson Bowl coming up and it’s a pretty big football game for us. If we could get him a pass to go to that, I think it would really help.'”

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, JPA is a slow-growing tumor of the brain or spinal cord. It is usually found as a cyst and does not typically spread to nearby tissues.

Symptoms vary depending on the size and location of the tumor, but most are the result of increased pressure on the brain. The cause of JPA is unknown and commonly affects children and young adults.

This type of tumor is often cured with surgery.

Recuperation has been tough for Guthrie, from not being able to move whole sides of his body to not being able use his phone to text his friends, but he has been getting stronger every day.

He continues physical therapy sessions, and the hope is he’ll be able to return home within a couple of weeks.

However, tests and MRIs will still need to be done in the coming months to develop a treatment plan if needed.

But tests and treatment plans were on the back burner Friday night. The only thing that mattered to Guthrie was watching his teammates play.

Maybe Guthrie’s presence was a jolt for the Braves as they used their dominant rushing attack to overpower Seymour for their seventh Jackson Bowl victory.

Friday night’s focus for Brownstown Central coach Reed May was on how to overcome the Owls on their home turf. Still, before and after the game, he made time to go find Guthrie.

“It was neat,” May said. “I found out a little earlier in the week that he was going to make it to the game. I think he’s going to be able to get out in October and I hope things continue to go well for him.”

Each BC player came up to Dravin before the game, at halftime or after the game to show their support.

Quarterback Derek Thompson, who set a single-game rushing record for the Braves, said seeing Dravin at the game was the kind of shot in the arm the team needed.

“It was great to see him out here,” he said. “Him laughing, him having a great time; it was great to have him out there.”

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