Several athletes out after Friday games
NATCHEZ — Even if he couldn’t line up against someone, Tyler Buckles said he wasn’t going to miss football practice at Adams County Christian School Monday afternoon.
After fracturing his C4 and C5 vertebrae, bruising his spinal cord and sustaining a concussion against Cathedral High School Friday night, the ACCS receiver was fortunate to only come out of it with a neck brace.
Buckles will have to wear the brace for six weeks, and being a senior, his football career is likely over. But that didn’t stop him from showing up to support his teammates when the Rebels returned to the practice field Monday.
“It’s my senior year,” Buckles said. “I want to spend as much time as I can with my boys.”
Buckles was one of three players injured in Friday’ contest, along with ACCS lineman Cage Dill and Cathedral lineman Colby Horton. Buckles said he was hurt in the second play of Friday’s game during a kickoff, in which he slid into a pile of players, sustaining his injuries.
“They said I got a concussion then, but I didn’t have the feeling of a concussion or any signs,” Buckles said. “As of right now, I just don’t remember much of the game.”
Buckles actually kept playing until right before halftime. Buckles dad, Ben Buckles, said he son was seeing spots throughout the first half, but Tyler pulled himself from the game with approximately two minutes to go.
By the time he got to his son, Ben said Tyler had passed out. He was rushed to Natchez Community Hospital and later University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.
“You go half a game playing with a fractured C4 and C5, that’s dangerous,” Ben said. “We’re very grateful (it’s not worse). I thank God every day that he came home with just a neck brace.”
Dill was also able to make practice despite sustaining what was his second concussion during the game Friday. The Rebels’ sophomore said he also suffers from heart problems and seizures, and the doctor said he was likely done with football.
“It’s really upsetting, sitting out here watching practice and wanting to be out there,” Dill said. “But it’s not worth risking my whole life just doing something I like.”
Cathedral Athletic Director Craig Beesley said Horton was injured during a punt return when a player rolled into his leg, breaking his left tibia.
“The doctor said it was a spiral break, which might be good, because it would set itself back in place,” Beesley said. “Hopefully, he’ll heal up fast, and we can at least get him out on the sideline (this season).”
Green Wave tight end/linebacker Turner Janette is fighting through a weight room injury he sustained during summer weight lifting. Head coach Ron Rushing said Janette got a compression fracture on the L1 vertebrae on his spinal cord.
“He was doing step-up lifts and slipped when he came down,” Rushing said. “It was scary.”
Janette will go back to the doctor today, Rushing said, but he doesn’t have a timetable for Janette’s return.
“He was going to be a huge part of our football team this year,” Rushing said. “I don’t know if he’ll be back this year, but I’m believing.”
While Ben Buckles said he understands that athletes want to fight through injuries and play, parents and coaches need to educate their athletes on the dangers of trying to do too much while playing hurt.
“These kids, especially these seniors, want to give it all they’ve got for the team,” Ben said. “They need to be educated to where they don’t continue on just because of the game. They need to realize they can get injured really bad.”
Tyler said it hurts not being out there with his teammates, but he expects to be able to play baseball in the spring.