Hunt’s injury hurts Patriots
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As junior Brian Hunt surveyed the field, he instinctively ran towards the play, but this time, instead of helping his teammates off the ground as usual, he was the one being helped up.
This move ended the season for Hunt before he even played his first down. Hunt broke his ankle after another player rolled onto him in the middle of a team scrimmage. He suffered the injury during the football team’s summer practice at Camp Tall Timbers in High View, WV.
“Someone just rolled on me and it bent the wrong way,” Hunt said. “It was a freak accident. I wasn’t sure what was hurt, but then I saw my ankle was out of place.”
Hunt was then taken by ambulance to a local hospital where he received X-rays and had the ankle set. His parents drove out to Camp Tall Timbers as soon as they were notified of his injury by the coaching staff. Head coach Keith Rawlings said that there is a “possibility” Hunt could return near the end of this season, depending on his rehab, but Rawlings also added, “We’re not sure.”
Hunt’s rehab will focus mainly on getting back into football shape and rebuilding cardio, but he also needs to regain his ability to run and cut on his ankle as he could before the injury. In the downtime since the accident, Hunt has been lifting weights and concentrating on upper body workouts.
More than anything, Hunt feels disappointed. A two-way starter at cornerback and running back, the team expected to feel Hunt’s impact in every game. “I was expecting to have a big year,” Hunt said about his thoughts going into the season.
“Brian is as great a young man as you will find,” said head coach Keith Rawlings. “He worked very hard in the offseason. It hurt. It’s a very tough loss for our team.”
Rawlings also feels that the team has responded well to Hunt’s injury, although at first, its effect was obvious.
“I saw it happen,” said senior Jamal Love. “We were shocked, upset, surprised, nervous, worried, all that.”
However, Love went on to say that Hunt’s injury, despite it being terrible for Hunt, has been used as a positive motivational tool by the team, as more players have felt the need to step up.
Among the players filling in for Hunt at running back and cornerback have been senior Ian Jansing-Kaestner on offense and junior Austin Hussar on defense, both of whom have performed admirably in Hunt’s absence.
The team still misses Hunt. With a record of 2-2 as of October 1, the team’s two losses have been by a combined five points, including a 42-41 overtime heartbreaker to St. John’s Catholic Prep. Rawlings feels that the team should not have lost either game, the other being a 14-10, fourth-quarter loss to Boys’ Latin. However, he does admit that the addition of Hunt could have put the team “over the edge” in each of those games.
Instead of only planning for next year’s season, Hunt is keeping his focus on returning this year for the Patriots. At the same time, Rawlings is using this as a lesson to his team: “Part of what we teach is that there will be adversity to overcome.”
Daniel Gallen can be reached for comment at [email protected].