Sports Person of the Week - Landon Schmitz

Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 10:25 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Landon Schmitz is a dual-sport athlete for the Kinder Yellow Jackets as he plays both football, and baseball, and back in August of this year, he was preparing for the start of his senior football season when his world turned upside down.

“I got shot in the stomach, and was a millimeter away from dying, you know I thought that was it after that, but it wasn’t, God had me the whole way, I was surrounded with the right people and the right place, and yeah, God was with me” said Schmitz.

Landon was shot in the stomach, and while in the hospital, doctors told his family that had the bullet been a millimeter to the left, it would have ruptured his main artery, and he would have bled out before reaching the hospital. Luckily for Landon, this was not the case, but the incident began what would be a long road to recovery.

Schmitz is a member of both the Kinder football, and baseball teams, and the incident caused a bit of a setback to say the least when it came to his return to the field. But in early October, less than two months after he was nearly fatally shot, Schmitz made his return to the football field, and he carried a new found appreciation with him, for the sports he loves.

“Oh yeah, 100% yeah, it definitely changes that you know, everyday I’m just blessed to be here, and to get back on the field, and play the sports I love to play, it’s a blessing” said Schmitz about whether or not the incident had changed his appreciation for being out on the football and baseball fields.

As Kinder’s baseball coach Rick Whittington describes him, Landon is the ace for the Yellow Jackets, and going into his senior season he will be relied on heavily as they work towards Landon’s goal of a State Championship, and Whittington speaks highly of Landon and his commitment to returning to the field, and added that it’s important for the younger members of the football and baseball teams to see his commitment, and dedication.

“He is out to prove that he’s back, better than he was last year mentally and physically, as a coach it says something about his integrity, his intestinal fortitude, being able to put the accident behind, and be able to focus on nothing but baseball and school, it says a lot because the younger generation, and the younger kids on our team will follow his lead” said Whittington.

Getting back on the field, and playing the sports he loves most wasn’t even a thought in Landon’s mind early on, he said he was just appreciative to be alive, and everything that followed would just be a plus, but his commitment, and dedication to his coaches and teammates, allowed him to make a remarkable recovery, and return to the field less than two months after escaping a nearly fatal gunshot.