Hudson senior kicker Grant Gonya and Twinsburg freshman defensive tackle Colin Bowser are Channel 3's "Game Changers" for week 9 of the high school football season.
Gonya suffered a fractured tibia and fibula as well as a dislocated right ankle during the Explorers' playoff win over Copley last year. Despite the severity of his injuries, Gonya fully recovered in about six months, and has resumed his dominance as one of the best kickers in Ohio.
The senior captain ranks in the top 3 in OHSAA history for career field goals and points. He holds a 3.5 GPA and is committed to continue his football career at Youngstown State.
"I just take every single day as a blessing that I can just keep doing what I'm doing," Gonya said.
Those words ring especially true for Bowser, who is less than a month removed from fighting for his life.
On Sept. 16, Bowser was not feeling well during a routine practice. After being ushered to the locker room by Twinsburg's coaching staff, he passed out and went into cardiac arrest. Bowser would later learn he was experiencing a life-threatening heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation.
Student trainer Megan Reisch, a junior at Kent State University, was on hand to administer CPR. Paramedics arrived soon after, shocking Bowser's heart back into rhythm and saving the 14 year old's life.
"I'm so grateful, because if (the training staff and first responders) weren't there, there's a high chance that I wouldn't be standing here right now," Bowser said.
Bowser now lives with a surgically implanted pacemaker. He will undergo a stress test in six months to gauge whether he can resume playing football.
Hudson (7-2) edged Twinsburg (3-6) in a back-and-forth showdown, 27-17, to maintain its spot in the Region 5 playoff picture. The Explorers outscored the Tigers 10-0 in the second half.