WESTBY, WI (WKBT) -

Ryan Gutenberger has a reason to be very, very thankful to be playing football.

Westby's senior tight end and linebacker was in a severe ATV accident when he was ten years old.

"We were out on four-wheelers and it was raining out," he said. "We were a little young probably to be riding four-wheelers and we were racing and it got a little slippery and I lost control and ran into a trailer.

"They didn't think I'd ever have a leg again."

"I just thought, was I going to play a sport with him again?" said senior running back /defensive back Logan Gutenberger, Ryan's twin brother.

"He's had extensive surgeries to make it look as nice as it is, but also to restore the function," Westby Head Coach Dan Nelson said.

"The doctors had to put four metal rods sticking into it then connect it with a metal bar," Ryan said. "It doesn't bother me at all. I don't even notice it. Actually, it's almost better because I have very little feeling right there."

Now, watching Ryan move on the football field, you would have never guessed he spent almost a half-year of his life confined to crutches.

"I think I've seen a few guys after a play kind of look at it funny, but that's about it," Nelson said.

Ryan's positivity is just another trait he and his twin brother share.

"It's great to see the whole team having success, especially him, though, knowing what he's had to go through to get there," Logan said.

"I definitely feel lucky," Ryan said.

Westby hosts defending state champion Amherst Friday night. The game will be played in Viroqua.