College football player learns of scholarship - in the very best way

Gopher player Justin Juenemann of Phillipsburg, Kansas, was told he would receive a scholarship in an unconventional way on Aug. 9, 2017, with the help of Coach P.J. Fleck and a friend from the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital.
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Gopher player Justin Juenemann of Phillipsburg, Kansas, was told he would receive a scholarship in an unconventional way on Aug. 9, 2017, with the help of Coach P.J. Fleck and a friend from the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital.
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Football

College kicker from Kansas gets scholarship - in a most heartwarming way

August 10, 2017 10:39 AM

While the 2017 season has yet to begin, the story of a major conference college football player from Kansas being granted a scholarship has gone viral.

Justin Juenemann, a kicker on the University of Minnesota football team from Phillipsburg, was recently surprised with a full scholarship to the school.

A video, released by Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck this week, showed Juenemann being given a T-shirt that read “Justin, congrats on earning a scholarship!” during a team meeting.

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The senior backup kicker received the shirt when a patient from the university’s Masonic Children’s Hospital shot it to him from an air cannon. While addressing the team, the patient said Juenemann is his favorite player because of his frequent visits to the hospital.

“I’ve never seen anybody serve and give more than that guy, who is not a star player,” said Fleck in the video. “He could easily just not do it and nobody would ever say anything.”

Video of the presentation and the celebration afterward have made the rounds with national media outlets, including ESPN’s SportsCenter.

Playing for Phillipsburg High School, Juenemann was an all-state selection in Kansas in 2012, leading the state with 17 touchbacks as a kicker. Phillipsburg is in northwest Kansas, about 60 miles north of Hays.

Bryan Horwath: 316-269-6708, @bryan_horwath