Don't Call It A Comeback: QND's Haley fights off injury
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -
During his senior cross country season QND senior Zach Haley decided to rejoin the football team for the first time since sustaining a torn labrum on the gridiron his sophomore season.
And in his first game back with the Raiders Haley blocked a point after attempt only for bad luck to strike again.
"By the time I dove out I wrapped up the football and the kicker just kicked my hand completely. He didn't even touch the ball," remembers Haley.
Unfortunately for the senior and defending 138-pound state wrestling runner-up, the kickers boot struck Haley's right hand breaking several bones in that hand. It would take surgery that left Haley with two plates and nine screws in his hand just to repair the injury.
"It's not what any coach wants to hear when one of their top athletes incurs an injury," said Haley's wrestling coach Adam Steinkamp.
Just weeks later, still with screws and plates in his hand, the 138-pounder began the wrestling season trying to earn a state title, but unable to practice. Still, Haley counts himself lucky.
"I think I've had my fair share of injuries but I'm definitely glad it was something small and not something that's going to keep me out for my senior season," he said.
Even though his top wrestler is recovering from surgery, Steinkamp isn't worried about Haley.
"Last year he battled a knee injury and we saw that didn't hold him back," said Steinkamp.
Even with missed practice time because of a broken hand Haley is determined to make it back to the final match of the season.
"I want the state title!" said Haley. "I've been working hard already and I'm just going to push from here. I just want to go up."
Haley said he had hoped to be back to practice and live wrestling by mid-December. However, Haley decided to test his hand at the Cumberland Superduals by winning two matches in the 145-pound weight class to start the year.
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