CHETEK, Wis. (KMSP) - May 2017 was a terrible month for the small community of Chetek, Wis.
Just under a week after a tornado whipped through the area--killing one while leveling a mobile home park and causing millions in damage--a kit plane crash claimed the life of a young man and seriously injured another, sending yet another shockwave through the tight-knit town.
The plane's pilot, 17-year-old Owen Knutson, died on impact when his pride and joy, a two-seat Piper fixed wing plane, went down in the Red Cedar River.
The passenger, 18-year-old Hunter Gillett, was airlifted to Mayo Clinic with serious injuries. He was set to graduate just two days later.
Friday, on the first play of the first game of what was supposed to be Knutson's senior season, his teammates carried out his jersey to the middle linebacker spot--his position--with both teams taking a knee on their respective sidelines.
Touching moment from Chetek-Weyerhaeuser vs. Elk Mound football game Friday. pic.twitter.com/kAGnLyboLR— Brett Bachman (@BrettABachman) August 21, 2017
Of course, with only 10 players on the field Chetek-Weyerhaeuser was assessed a penalty.
Their opponent, Elk Mound, decided to take a penalty of their own, standing until the play clock ran out and referees called a delay of game infraction.
Then, all 11 Elk Mound starters removed their helmets off and took a quick knee to honor Knutson once more before the game began in full.
In response, their opponent (my alma mater, Elk Mound) decided to take a delay of game penalty to offset Chetek's. pic.twitter.com/0UG0mZgOsK— Brett Bachman (@BrettABachman) August 21, 2017
With the entire Knutson family serving as honorary captains, Chetek-Weyerhaeuser ultimately pulled away to win 20-6, buoyed by an emotional, two-touchdown second half.