“Health — more important than football.”
That’s the message Marty Hoge, father of BYU offensive lineman Tristen Hoge, has for Cougar Nation.
In a video shared on his personal Twitter account on Wednesday, the elder Hoge said he had recently received the second-worst news from the last couple of weeks: His son has been diagnosed with pneumonia following a COVID-19 diagnosis.
Tristen Hoge was among those players who tested positive following the season opener at Navy. The BYU student-athlete quarantined for the recommended amount of time, in which he showed only a few minor symptoms. He returned to practice on Tuesday.
“Of course, when you miss that much time, you ball out,” Marty Hoge said. “You’re ready to go. You’re excited to get after it.”
But things took a turn for the worse after practice.
Hoge’s symptoms were concerning enough that the training staff thought he should get extended testing. The results showed pneumonia that’s “affected his lungs severely,” Hoge said, but luckily there was no fluid in Tristen’s heart.
Hoge said Tristen has taken every precaution — worn masks, social distanced, lives by himself and more — yet, even though his son is healthy, was still hit by COVID-19.
BYU VS. TROY
At LaVell Edwards Stadium
When • Saturday, 8:15 p.m.
TV • ESPN
Marty Hoge admits to being one of the people who didn’t take the pandemic as seriously as he should have, thinking COVID-19 was just like a cold, but now it’s hit home.
“You’ve got to take it serious,” Hoge said. “Fans, you’ve got to take it serious. This world has got to take it serious.”
Tristen Hoge transferred from Notre Dame after a prep career at Highland High School. The Pocatello, Idaho, native played in six games for the Fighting Irish in 2016.
Since 2017, the BYU senior has played in 19 games for the Cougars.
Marty Hoge is hopeful his son will make a recovery within a couple of weeks, although he won’t get back on the field until he’s ready, but closed out the video with another message:
“Remember, don’t take for granted what you’ve got in your good health. Do the smart things. Social distance. Wear your mask. Don’t get upset when you can’t go watch a game when you can watch it on television. These kids have got to be smart.”