More Than a Game for the Powell Panthers
The Powell Panthers made a late-season surge and played in the Class 3A Football State Championship game. What happened before the game was something far more special.
Ethan Asher was supposed to be the starting quarterback for the Panthers in 2019. Then an unfortunate accident on Aug. 27, 2019, changed it all. Ethan suffered life-threatening injuries and was placed into a medically-induced coma after a single-vehicle roll-over accident.
What happened at the Wyoming High School Football State Championships on Nov. 15, 2019, was a special moment. A little more than a month after coming out of the coma, Ethan was released by his doctors to travel to Laramie for the Class 3A title game. He was able to meet with his teammates for the first time since the accident at the University of Wyoming’s Indoor Practice Facility.
Ethan admitted for him to be there with his team meant a lot.
“Mostly because they made it here without me, you know. It means a lot for them to be here, and for me to see all my teammates again because I haven’t seen them in a while.”
Panthers head coach Aaron Papich said it’s unbelievable that he was there.
“He means so much to our team, and he’s been a leader here for the Powell Panthers for four years, and this was the goal he and our seniors have had the last four years. Just for it to all come together like this is really special.”
Asher received an autographed football from Wyoming senior linebacker Logan Wilson, plus his teammates presented him a football signed by the entire squad, and then it was picture time.
Powell's Ethan Asher at 2019 State Football Championships
After the pictures, Ethan Asher accompanied the Powell captains to midfield for the coin toss before the Class 3A championship game.
Andy Asher, Ethan’s father, said it meant a bunch to him and his wife Tiffani that they were able to get Ethan to that game.
“He keeps thinking the team made it here without him, and I think it’s pretty evident the team was thinking about Ethan all season. We keep telling him that he’s a big part of this team, so even though he wasn’t playing, they carried his jersey out coin toss, and now he actually gets to feel that jersey and go out for the coin toss this time.”
Andy Asher added, “It’s a neat thing. He shouldn’t even be here right now, so we’re just taking it all in and really just taking every little step we can. He’s got a long way to go, but he’s come a long way too.”
He watched the game from the AD Box in the Wildcatter Suites at War Memorial Stadium.
Andy Asher said the support they’ve received from many places has been sobering.
“We’ve usually been the givers and to be on the receiving end of an outpouring that I’ve never seen before… Really the whole state has stepped up and it’s crossed state boundaries. Montana sent us a bunch of stuff and Colorado (did the same). Just the fact that it’s reaching that far, and that there’s that much support, it really is humbling. I can’t even explain it. The outpouring of God’s love has shown through people, it’s pretty neat.”
Even Wyoming High School Activities Association Commissioner Ron Laird said, “This is pretty cool,” to see Ethan have an opportunity to be around his teammates again.
Ethan Asher is now at Craig Memorial Hospital in Denver as he continues his recovery.