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Wilber-Clatonia’s head coach battles through car accident, fractured neck

Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 10:41 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A Nebraska high school head coach is thankful to be alive after walking away from an accident that totaled his pickup. With the team still playing in the Class C2 playoffs, the players and community are rallying as he continues to heal and still coach.

This is Lynn Jurgens’ 13th season as the head coach of Wilber-Clatonia. This year might be the most challenging because the head coach was sidelined in September after a car accident.

“(I) lost control on a gravel road and the vehicle rolled,” said Lynn Jurgens. “I broke my neck in a couple places, fractured my skull and got a concussion, so not a good deal.”

Jurgens was only out for a couple weeks. He’s back coaching and wearing a neck brace. He’s also moved from the sideline to the press box for games.

“It’s very difficult to try and turn,” said Jurgens. “I have to move my whole body which is not very nice. It’s whatever I got to do.”

“I think it shows how much he wants to be here and doing everything he could to help us,” said Coy Rosentreader, Wilber-Clatonia quarterback. “It shows a lot about his character and who he is as a coach.”

Injuries have plagued this Wolverines team, but they’re fighting through them. They’ve won their first two playoff games.

“We’ve had 15 different kids who have missed a game because of injuries,” said Jurgens. “The adversity these guys have went through and the accident, it’s just incredible what they’ve done and have come together.”

“We’re definitely doing it for him,” said Rosentreader. “We know how bad it hurt him to not be here for even a week and doing it for all of us who have been hurt this season.”

“I’m very lucky to be here,” said Jurgens. “Everybody is telling me that somebody is looking out for me. The cab of the pickup was just as flat as the rest and I don’t know how I walked out of it, but I did, thankfully.”

Coach Jurgens and players said they’re playing their best ball right now. They’ll be tested Friday night against top seed Norfolk Catholic, but this team won’t shy away from the challenge.

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