Rogersville community welcomes home injured high school quarterback

ROGERSVILLE (WATE) – It was a hero’s welcome home for Cherokee High School’s JT Brooks on Friday night.

It was the first time the junior quarterback has been home in three long months. During a spring game in May, Brooks was seriously injured after being tackled by a teammate and he’s currently paralyzed from the chest down.

“It’s hard at night thinking about it. You can’t even fathom it,” said Brooks.

Brooks says he’s doing his best.

Previous story: Community rallies around Hawkins County quarterback in ICU

“I’ve just stayed with it. I’ve got up every day wanting to go to therapy, and it’s just my mindset every day. You just have got to get better with what you got,” he said.

Judging by the cheers from Friday night’s homecoming, the entire town is showing they’re in this fight together with him. They’re fighting for 5.

“We’re all super proud to have him back. I always felt like somebody was missing and now that he’s back home, we’re a complete family now,” said Jeremiah Bragg, Cherokee High’s senior running back.

“It’s just crazy how this community has come out and support him. I’m excited and we all are,” said River Bailey, a senior wide receiver.

It was just what Brooks and his family needed after three long months of rehab.

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“I’ve dealt with this injury long enough and I’ll be dealing with this for a while, but I’ve overcome it. I’m living life now and I’m just here with my team, my fans and my home,” said Brooks.

He knows he’ll be all right at the end of the day.

“The end goal is to walk always; you just got to keep that in your mind that you’re going to walk because it’s not going to happen if you don’t think that,” said Brooks.

After spending time with family and friends this weekend, JT will be heading back to Atlanta. A spokesperson with the family says he has four to six weeks left of rehab at the Shepherd Center.

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