Big celebration for Boone Bartlome's return to Kuna

bmurphy@idahostatesman.comFebruary 20, 2014 

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Injured Kuna High School football player Boone Bartlome (middle) gets a hug from head football coach Lee Leslie (behind Boone) after being helped into his wheelchair by father Shane Bartlome (right) during a rally in support of his return from a rehab facility in Denver. Hundreds of students and other well wishers gathered at Kuna High School to welcome Boone home on Thursday, February 20, 2014.

KYLE GREEN — kgreen@idahostatesman.com Buy Photo

Of all those gathered in the rain and cold Thursday afternoon at Kuna High School to welcome home one of their own, none was as happy to see Boone Bartlome as Zeke.

As in Zeke, Boone's yellow lab.

Zeke climbed into Boone's lap while he was in the car that brought him from the Boise Airport to Kuna High. Then, after Boone was in his wheelchair and moved in front of the crowd, Zeke climbed in his lap once again.

Bartlome, a junior wide receiver on the Kuna High football team, broke his neck on Nov. 8 in a playoff game at Bishop Kelly. Bartlomoe has not been home since, after spending most of the last three months at Craig Hospital in Denver undergoing intensive rehabilitation.

Thursday, several hundred high schoolers and other community members waited for Boone to arrive. They released gold and black balloons into the air and chanted his name.

"Thank you everyone. I love you guys. This is just incredible," Bartlome said.

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