Injured Reserve to Fiesta Bowl Champion (Part 2)

As I prowled the practice field and sideline with torn tendons in my ankle hobbling along in my black immobilization boot I worked to make the team better.

I worked hard to stay mentally engaged pining for the day when I would gear up and hit the field again.

Game after game came and went.

We lost many of them.

We were not used to losing.  The year prior we were undefeated state champions and ranked in the top 10 football teams in the western United States.

My injury was adding injury to insult for the team.

We lost our starting quarterback in a brutal beating on the Island of Hawaii in our first game of the season against a bigger, faster, and more aggressive Hawaii squad.

The season was not stacking up to be a winner.

Our coaches shuffled players into new positions figuring out how to make the team work.

We were a beaten up, broken, and bruised team.

To the team’s credit, they fought on.

Luckily we had talented athlete’s ready for the challenge of changing roles and doing what was necessary for the team to win.

Key phrase…doing what was necessary for the team to win.

Changing positions mid-season your senior year for many of these players was not comfortable and often not something they wanted to do.

Doing so put them at risk from a recruitment standpoint for playing at the next level.

They did it anyway and did it with gusto.

They battled and I coached.

We fought tooth and nail to a point where we were one game away from making it into the state playoffs.

By the time this do or die game was in front of us the team had figured out how to work as a team and more importantly how to win.

We were the very last team to squeak into the playoffs sporting the worst record.

I was still unable to play and thus threw my energy into coaching and supporting the team.

Next hurdle to jump…playoffs. (more on this tomorrow)


Brett “Insulted and Injured” Denton