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Injured wrestler welcomed back to school

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio (WTOV) - A wrestling match doubled as a fundraiser for an injured student Tuesday afternoon at Buckeye Local High School.

Students came together to cheer on their athletes and raise money for one of their own.

Just over a week ago, freshman wrestler Travis Light was injured at the Panther Classic. A questionable move by an opponent resulted in him landing on his face.

After that, it was dark for Travis until he woke up in the hospital.

“They told me I got hurt very badly in a wrestling match and that I was not able to move or do anything yet,” Travis said.

Travis was initially paralyzed due to swelling on his spinal cord. Though he's now regained function, his recovery is expected to take months. But that hasn't deterred him and Travis says he's ready to get back to wrestling next season.

“That is what I'm pushing for the most is to get all my muscles and everything back to where they were before everything happened and be able to wrestle," Travis said.

Before the match, Travis led his teammates into the Buckeye Local gymnasium to cheer them on as they took part in a match against Bridgeport and Steubenville.

The student body paid $1 to watch the match, resulting in nearly $1,000 raised for Travis's medical expenses.

The school principal says it's what Panthers do.

“Any time any of the neighboring schools or any of our students suffer medical issues, accidents we try to support each other,” Principal Coy Sudvary said. “You know, everybody’s been great. There’s been a number of schools around the valley show support and cards, reached out to Travis and his family through the whole ordeal.”

“It feels really good to know there are people supporting me that care,” Travis said.

Travis also wanted to thank his best friend Charles Smith for being by his side through this difficult time.

In addition to the match, Buckeye Local is planning a lunchtime dodgeball tournament to raise funds for Travis.

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