Bubba Maschmeier returns after life saving surgery last year

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The number 13, is often looked upon as an unlucky number.
But for senior running back for the Lathrop Malemutes, Bubba Maschmeier, he wears it as a badge of honor.
As Bubba got lucky last year, and skirted death.
Now, he is a key contributor on a Malemutes' team that has a chance to make the playoffs.
We take you through August 26, 2017.
Where both Maschmeier and his world stopped on a dime.
"It's been a number, I've had since young," said Maschmeier.
On that fateful day of August 26, Bubba was looking forward to Lathrop's matchup against the East Anchorage Thunderbirds.
However, the junior running back would not make it to his game.
In fact, Maschmeier ended up in the hospital, requiring life saving surgery.
Maschemeier's appendix had bursted, putting Bubba down for awhile meaning he would miss out on the rest of the season.
For his Grandma, she knew he didn't want to come in for this reason.
"Ok, we got to call Mom and get her over here cause this is it. And at the same time I was watching him and he was looking at me with that look, 'see, I told you I didn't want to come here.' Cause he knew that he was going to be out, cause there was a game going on at that same time. So he looked at me and I looked at him. We both knew what each other were thinking, so it just was not either one of us was expecting," said Donna Borce, Bubba's Grandma.
It was hard on Bubba, who had to deal with a sizable hole in his side where they removed his appendix and having the sides of his intestines fixed due to the inflammation of the appendix.
He didn't even feel 100 percent until Christmas time that year.
But his mother got to see Maschmeier push himself to get back into football shape.
She even saw him compete in the first game of the season against the Kenai Kardinals on August 11, nearly a year since the surgery.
"Just makes me want to cry, I'm just happy. So happy and excited for him, this is just really cool. He came back, and he is doing great. And it's all him. It's him. You know we are there for him of course, yeah but Bubba does what he does. He came back, and he's doing great We'll see what his future holds," said Karen Koch, Bubba's Mom.
Bubba is now thriving in his senior year of football.
Whether it's running the ball or catching it out of the backfield, he has come back even stronger than before.
"That was definitely the hardest part. The six days I was in there I wasn't allowed to eat anything, cause my intestines were getting back to their stage. So I dropped 20 pounds. I was down to 130, I mean 130 something. And I don't gain weight fast at all. It's like really hard for me. So I don't think. I don't think I hit. It took me a couple of months to get back to 140 even, and back to one, I am about 155 when, and I'm 160 now. That probably took up until All-Alaska Camp back in June. I was working out in the gym everyday, eating a lot having to force feed myself. Most of the time just trying to get something. But, now that with the beginning of the season testing all my weight and stuff. And I was like I was better than I was before. So it was hard at first, but it was definitely worth it. My dad wore it back when he played football. So that's kind of why I chose the number. And I like the unlucky thing. I like rocking the unlucky number just to show that's not really something, cause most people rock seven and their like seven is a lucky number. I don't now, I just like the look of it. It's a nice looking number," said Maschmeier.
And Lathrop has a chance to make the playoffs, and with the Dog Bowl on the horizon, Bubba gets to have one last ride in front of the fans.
As number 13 ends his high school career here soon, his will, determination and his inspiration to others continues to live on.
Bubba and his Lathrop teammates take on the West Valley Wolfpack this Friday for the 2018 Dog Bowl.