I'm an official member of the Chris Haas fan club.
The courageous and inspirational Jacob Hespeler student completed his unlikely comeback Thursday night when he led the Hawks onto the field for their WCSSAA senior football game against the Sir John A. Macdonald Highlanders.
By now, we all know the details of the single-vehicle accident last November that was the starting point of Haas' long journey back. He had a toe amputated from his left foot, had half his right foot amputated and suffered a broken femur. He also has a cracked vertebra and a cracked sternum.
The very next day, he vowed to Hawks head coach Greg White and teammate Jackson White that he'd back.
There have been tears along the way -- "I don't want to admit it, but yeah," Haas said earlier this week -- but he never lost sight of the end goal.
Along the way, I've marveled at his courage and look back fondly on the conversations we've had on the sidelines, over the phone or after he valiantly represented his school in the discus competition at the WCSSAA track and field championship.
And I'm not alone.
We media types like to grumble about this, that and everything else, but I've chatted with Cambridge Times reporter Bill Doucet and CTV's Darren Stevenson about Haas and the conversations are always about what a great kid he is, how it's such a pleasure to deal with him, or how many of our own issues seem so trivial.
This is a kid we can all cheer for.
A tip of the hat to Record photographer David Bebee for capturing Haas' return on Thursday night.
The image, which shows Haas on his right foot, is a perfect way to illustrate the comeback is complete.