How One Tackle Changed A Whole Season
The final call of “Set… Hike!” can change a season in an instant.
Football helmets smash together as opposing teams crash across the line of scrimmage, executing their skills and protecting their blindsides. But an unusual sound arose amongst the immediate crash; the sound of a bone snapping followed by a yell resounded from the tackling players.
Griffin Pendry, a senior at Perrysburg High School, was the source of that noise, and within one moment his hope of charging the field for his final high school football season was lost.
Kicking off the season last year as a starter, Pendry played the field in multiple positions including outside linebacker, running back, and kicker. This year he would have done the same had it not been for one tragic tackle that occurred at a pre-season scrimmage on August 16th against Start High School.
When asked to describe what the contact felt like, Pendry described the pain as “sharp… like someone was jabbing into [his] knee.” Since the pain had subsided while being carted into the trainer’s office, Pendry thought it might have only been a dislocated knee, but that thought quickly escaped when the team’s athletic trainer, Garrett Walker, knew it was something more. Within the first looks, Walker suggested that Griffin’s femur bone may have been fractured.
After confirming the injury as a fractured femur, Pendry underwent surgery and is now on his road to recovery, consisting of 3-5 long weeks of rest before beginning to walk and 3-4 months of tough physical therapy to rebuild strength and stamina.
Although he may not be able to play his part on the field, Perrysburg’s Pendry recognizes that physically playing is only half of the battle of the game of football. He can still be a role model for the teammates that have to fill his spot, says he’ll take this off time to “try to obtain a leadership role… to better [his teammates] and help the team out.” He plans to attend any team function he is physically able to and express leadership amongst the younger players as the season plays on.
Through painful injury comes new hardships and obstacles, but Griffin Pendry will not let this challenge overcome his character. You can catch him back the halls of school this week and see him on the sidelines every Friday night alongside the rest of the Perrysburg Football Team.
This story has been updated. Griffin Pendry plays outside linebacker.
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