Football 2013 impact players: Domino ready to make a comeback after knee injury
Ferriday — When Ferriday High School’s Dontrell Domino felt his knee snap during a kickoff against Jonesville High School last season, he said the first thing he thought was, “Here we go again.”
It was just the third game of his sophomore year with the Trojans when Domino learned he tore his ACL and would be out for the season.
“I felt like I let my team down,” Domino said.
Domino, a running back and linebacker, had a promising high school career, receiving significant playing time as a freshman, but a string of injuries made for an inconsistent couple of years.
Domino didn’t finish his freshman season after dislocating his shoulder during a kickoff, and he said injuring his knee on a kickoff play during his sophomore year was like déjà vu.
Back-to-back injuries might ruin many careers, but Domino said he used it as motivation to try to make a comeback.
Domino had ACL repair surgery in October, and he said he went to physical therapy every day to strengthen his knee.
“After my surgery, the doctor told me I wouldn’t be able to get my speed back,” Domino said.
Domino joined the track team in the spring to work on his speed, and he said he knew he was back to his old self during a track meet.
“At first, I was nervous running track because of my injury,” Domino said. “But I knew I got my speed back when I ran the 100-meter dash in 11 seconds.”
As Domino trained for football season this summer, Ferriday head coach Cleothis Cummings said Domino has worked extremely hard to make the best of his junior year.
“To have a kid like that is a plus to our program. Even though he is coming off a knee injury, he wouldn’t let that stop him. He has that drive about him,” Domino said.
Domino said the eagerness to get back out on the field is what fuels his hard work.
“I’m getting hungry for it,” he said. “I couldn’t play all these years and I finally get my chance.”
Domino said he hopes his work ethic inspires his teammates to give their all as well.
“I have some teammates out there looking up to me,” he said. “They see me lift hard, and they start lifting hard.”
Cumming said Domino’s comeback has strengthened his team’s mentality.
“His teammates see him, and they are motivated not to complain about little injuries,” Cummings said.
Cumming said he counts on Domino to be a leader on the team, but he still has some learning to do.
“My job is to constantly help develop him as a football player,” Cumming said. “He’s still raw. There are a lot of things he doesn’t know about the game, but he’s willing to work on it, and that’s what we want.”
Cummings said he won’t hold Domino back this season as he returns as the starting running back and linebacker.
“We’re looking at getting him a lot of touches on offense and letting him fly on defense,” Cummings said.
Though Domino said he still is a little hesitant about his knee, he holds no restraints on himself, as he has set high standards for the season.
“My goal is to rush over 100 yards every game,” he said. “My goal for the team is to reach the state championship in the Superdome.”