Texas high school player returns to field after battling cancer

Kalen Berry of Carrollton Newman (Tx) wore braces on both his legs as he found his spot in the secondary on Friday.

The moment had finally arrived.

"Ever since I’ve been diagnosed, I’ve been looking forward to this," Berry said. "It’s been really hard, especially considering how they’ve been winning and everything. I just want to be a part of it."

Diagnosed with a rare form of cancer –€“ rhabdomyosarcoma –€“ in July 2013, Berry had been through months of chemotherapy treatment, according to the Dallas Morning News.

When he first got dressed out against McKinney North, I cried. I’m so happy and I’m ready for him to get out there with us again.

Carrollton teammate Trevor Johnson

While in remission, with a clean bill of health, Berry is still a working his way back to his former self. His mother, Sharon, told the paper he will gain full strength in his lower body and lose the numbness that plagues in his hands and feet. But it’s a slow process.

"And it stinks," Newman Smith coach Paul Ressa said. "It’s never our timing; it’s God’s timing. And this kid, he was slated to be the guy in the back end. He was good; really, really good. That’s why we’re going to play him there."

After clearing it with Conrad coach M.T. Tyeskie earlier in the week, Ressa put Berry on the field for Newman Smith’s first defensive play, which resulted in a safety when the ball was snapped over the quarterback’s head.

Berry got three more snaps — the final two as the quarterback in a victory formation –€“ in Newman Smith’s 38-0 win.  His teammates swarmed him at game’s end.

"It’s crazy," defensive lineman Trevor Johnson said. "When he first got dressed out against McKinney North, I cried. I’m so happy and I’m ready for him to get out there with us again."