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After 4 Concussions 12-Year-Old Finds Life After Football
Updated: Tuesday, January 28 2014, 09:41 PM CST
Brenner Bussy was often called "Little Bus" by his teammates and coaches.
"I was big," Brenner said. "You could say I was pretty good."
Brenner started playing football when he was seven years old, and he quickly became a star lineman. The game meant everything to his family. Brenner's dad Scott coached him and it did not take long for football to take over their lives.
"It's a town that has two seasons: football season and the off-season," Scott said. "When your kid comes of age to play football, there was no doubt where we were going to be."
The family spent several days a week at practice, and Saturdays were dedicated to games.
"The rest was just filler," Scott said.
It was filler until the last game of Brenner's football season in November 2011.
"I hit really hard," Brenner said. "We both just plopped on the ground."
Brenner suffered a concussion. It was his first of four in three years. For most families it would be enough, but Brenner kept playing.
"It bothered me, but that's the game, until the game is no more," Scott said.
No more came soon, because for Brenner it was time to walk away from contact sports.
"We all know that our football careers are going to end. We just don't plan on it ending in 7th grade," Scott said. "That's a little tougher to swallow."
Brenner continues to help out with the team and hang out with his teammates, but he said it is different now.
"It's tough sometimes," Brenner said.
Brenner said it is tough, because sidelines can be a lonely place. Like most kids his age, Brenner felt the pressure to keep playing.
"A bunch of [my friends] wish I could play, I wish I could play," Brenner said. "Football is the cool thing to do."
Scott said the decision for Brenner to quit playing was the hardest decision the family has had to make.
"It sinks in," Scott said. "Maybe you have to start thinking about life after football."
That life turned from the pigskin to the pigpen. Brenner started raising and showing pigs for FFA. This year he is dedicating his time to a pig named Ruby.
In the Brenner's first year of showing Ruby, he has placed in the top five in his last three shows.
"She's like my sister," Brenner said.
His new family might not be as glamorous, but Brenner has realized a valuable life lesson.
"There are a lot of other fun things you can do in life instead of play football and sports," Brenner said.
It is hard for anyone to walk away from a passion, and much less a 12-year-old just getting started on his goals. Brenner is still going strong, despite putting the brakes on football.
KEYE is holding a Town Hall meeting on the dangers of concussions. It is Thursday at 7pm at the Seton HealthCare Administrative offices across from Dell Children's Medical Center. More information --> http://www.keyetv.com/news/features/town-hall/?wap=0&/