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Kyle Muckenhirn goes to the hoop in a game against Bemidji earlier this year. He played the entire schedule this year with a large custom made brace on his left knee. Muckenhirn said that when he's playing, he doesn't notice the brace -- unless it shifts or someone bumps into it. (Brian

Hard work conquers all

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Lurking in the back of every athlete's mind is the fear of suffering a career-ending injury.

For Detroit Lakes High School senior Kyle Muckenhirn that fear had seemed to become reality on a clear Friday night last fall.

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The Laker football team had made the long journey to Duluth with aspirations of clinching a conference title against Duluth Denfeld when in the second quarter -- then junior -- Kyle Muckenhirn received a pass from quarterback Chris Gilson.

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