Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 4/18/13
MINNEAPOLIS Lincoln Plsek watched the video one time but couldn't bear to watch it again.Like many others across the country, the Gophers sophomore tight end saw the footage of the fertilizer plant exploding in West, Texas, on Wednesday night. For Plsek, however, the tragedy hit close to home his childhood home.Plsek grew up in West, about 2 miles from where the explosion took place. His family and friends were not harmed in the explosion, but the blast reportedly injured more than 100 and killed several although those numbers may continue to rise as the wreckage is sorted through in the next several days.With his hometown on his mind, Plsek still took to the field Thursday with the rest of his University of Minnesota teammates."I tried to block it out," Plsek said. "Before practice, I just told myself I'm going to dedicate this practice to everyone who got hurt and everyone who's died."A fire at the plant and eventually turned into a giant explosion. The blast blew out windows in houses and businesses in the tight-knit town of 2,800. Some buildings in the area were leveled. A nearby nursing home was evacuated.Plsek had a tough time watching the coverage."I was shocked. I didn't think anything like that could happen," said Plsek, who added that a distant relative of his was killed in the explosion. "When something happens, you don't ever expect it to be in your hometown. It's just a shocking feeling. My heart goes out to the families and everyone who lost lives and is injured."Plsek first heard of the news when a friend sent him a text message asking if his family was OK. At the time, Plsek merely assumed his friend wanted to catch up on how everything was going in general.It didn't take long, however, for reality of the situation to sink in."I was like, Yeah, they're fine.' I didn't even know about it," Plsek said. "Right after that, I texted my mom and she wasn't texting me back. Apparently the phones were messed up. She ended up calling me, so I got to talk to her. She said they were OK. My brothers, they were all in the house. Our house wasn't really affected, but around the area where it happened was pretty bad."Some people in West didn't realize what had happened, Plsek said. That included family members, who initially thought the noises were thunder since storms were expected to hit the area.Even though his mom's house is 2 miles from the site of the blast, she and Plsek's younger brothers were able to hear and feel the effects of the explosion."It felt like a big bomb had gone off," Plsek said. "They didn't know what to think of it."Plsek is a 6-foot-4, 265-pound tight end who played high school football at Reicher High School, a Catholic school in Waco about 20 miles from West. He appeared in eight games for the Gophers as a true freshman last season and had three catches for 22 yards. He said he plans to stay in Minnesota through spring football practices and remain here until the end of the semester before going home to help cleanup and rebuilding efforts.Gophers coach Jerry Kill said he first heard of the news in West from his daughter, who was keeping up with everything on the Internet. Kill visited West when he recruited Plsek and met his family before Plsek committed to play for the Gophers."He's a mature kid," Kill said of Plsek. "To come all the way here and come to the University of Minnesota and play as a true freshman, I worried about him getting homesick and all that. From the day he's walked in, he said Minnesota is his home. We've had to lean on each other here a lot through a lot of things. I think that's the great thing that playing football teaches you."Indeed, the Gophers program has gone through quite a bit in the last few years, including the death of former linebacker Gary Tinsley. So there was no question that Plsek's teammates gave him their support as he dealt with the tragedy that struck his hometown less than 24 hours earlier."I had so many friends text me and tweet at me and ask me if everyone's OK in my family," Plsek said. "It was really comforting to know that." Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ohio State sets NFL Draft record; rundown of where every player ended up

Timeless Tim: NBA star says Spurs' Duncan could play until he's 90

NFL analyst Mel Kiper Jr's secret to longevity: Pumpkin pie

Carmelo Anthony not sure if he’ll play in 2016 Rio Olympics

Report: Ravens would have taken Tunsil if not for video

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Steve Kerr won’t rule out early Stephen Curry return

WATCH: Jaylon Smith finding out he's headed to the Cowboys

Bills take OSU QB Cardale Jones Saturday, ups Buckeyes count to 12

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush epically fails trying to call out Dwyane Wade

DeMarcus Cousins says his feet bother him more every year

Winners and losers: Day Two of the NFL Draft

WATCH: Brooks Orpik lays a high and late hit on Olli Maatta

WATCH: Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright gets drafted, loses mind

Manny Pacquiao is "alarmed" by terrorist kidnapping plot in Philippines

Luke Walton is playing by his own rules as Lakers new head coach

Paul Pierce says he’s ’50-50′ on retirement

Luke Walton: Lakers will not run the triangle offense

Dolphins think they know who dimed out Laremy Tunsil

NFL commish Goodell says "bring it on" to Draft boo birds in Chicago

Snapchat, BuzzFeed team up to deliver video highlights of Summer Games on social

A Trail of wise decisions led the Blazers past the Clippers

Okay, who stole the Kansas City Royals player off that billboard?

WATCH: Clippers guard Rivers returns to game after 11 stitches to eye

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Okay, who stole the Kansas City Royals player off that billboard?

Eight players to watch in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

A Round-By-Round Look At the NFL Draft

10 biggest takeaways from the NBA playoffs thus far

QUIZ: Name every No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft since 1985

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Sharks vs. Predators

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Blues vs. Stars

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Capitals vs. Penguins

10 bold predictions for the first round of the NFL Draft

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Lightning vs. Islanders

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker