The 2019 Falcon varsity football season began stacked with numerous players topping the Colorado rankings such as Jake Rubley, who is ranked number one in state, according to 24/7 Sports. As the season went on, injuries occurred, taking out some of the key players.
UCDenver estimated 1,516 high school football-related injuries occurred during the 2016-2017 school year. This year hasn’t been any different than any other with many injuries. On the topic of the recent season-ending injuries, T.J. Rubley, head varsity football coach, said, “I don’t think it was anything abnormal. Broken bones and ligaments are just kind of a part of football.”
During the 2019 season, there have been three concussions, one of which was severe. Around 31 percent of national high school football injuries are concussions, according to a study done by UCDenver. Rubley said, “If you train for the sport, less injuries occur, and increasing our attendance [to training] is something that’s really important for us.”
One of the injuries that occurred this season was a fibula fracture on Konor Lathrop, senior and co-captain of the varsity football team. Lathrop’s injury was not preventable by training, but was an uncommon accident similar to others this season. This injury ended his season early and will take around two months to completely heal, in time for the basketball season. “I couldn’t play my last two games of my senior year, so it was tough emotionally. The pain was there, but the pain of not being able to play made it tough,” said Lathrop.
Dylan Gurule, junior and running back, faced the same fate with a cracked hip. Gurule’s injury occurred at practice. It may surprise some to know that a fair amount of football injuries occur at practice. A little under half of all of the injuries that occurred during the 2016-2017 were practice-related injuries, according to UCDenver.
Both players are key members of the team and started almost every game this season. Their injuries along with others this year impacted the team’s efforts. “When you have guys that are starters and guys that are contributors and good football players that go down, it’s tough to replace them, especially for us because the numbers are so small,” said Rubley.
All of the injuries that occurred this season are not permanent and all players will heal within the year, but this season has taught a valuable lesson to the team. As Rubley said, “We grew and our kids grew to play a different type of football, and as a result we got much better in the middle. We just ran into two teams that were better than us; they were bigger, stronger, faster, and that points us in the direction of having a great weight room off-season.”
Isabella Bogo, Staff Reporter