Centre football season at risk after early injuries
Early season bad luck has Centre High football coaches struggling to field a team as injuries whittle their available roster to about 10.
A lack of healthy players forced cancelation of a Sept. 11 game against Valley Falls.
Athletic director Timothy Vinduska said the coaches hope for the best as they move in new players.
“We are going on a week-by-week basis,” Vinduska said of the upcoming season.
Disaster stuck before the Cougars even finished the first half of their season opener against Herington when quarterback Luke Hudson was hit hard from behind and twisted to brace himself for impact.
“I just landed wrong,” he said. “I slammed my shoulder against the ground.”
Unbowed by the pain, Hudson got up and made several tackles and a punt return.
“I wasn’t ready to get off (the field) yet,” he said.
Centre coaches and his mother, Sherri Hudson, an English teacher at the high school, noticed Luke was in pain despite his stoicism and sent him to the emergency room.
Hudson had a fractured collarbone and teammate Kyle Peterson, who followed him to the ER, a dislocated hip.
“I got tackled by three Herington players,” said Peterson.
Doctors “knocked him out” to push his hip back into the socket. He is having regular physical therapy.
The two, both juniors, are out for the rest of the season.
Hudson and Peterson both play basketball for Centre.
Peterson hopes to be well enough to play, but that will depend on the damage to his sciatic nerve.
Hudson has suffered his share of injuries, but being sidelined with a fracture left him “very disappointed.”
“This is the first bone I have ever broken in my life,” he said.
Doctors placed Hudson in a figure-8 brace to force his shoulders back and stabilize the fracture.
“It’s hard to eat,” he said of the contraption he will need to wear for weeks.
Hudson bears no ill will to the Railroaders who slammed him to the ground Sept. 4 when Centre lost 56-10.
“I think both sides played a very good game,” he said. “It was an awkward injury, but an awkward injury is a part of football.”
In the meantime, Hudson is continuing to aid the team by showing up to every practice.
Underclassmen Nicholas Krch, freshman, and Matthew Basore, a sophomore have stepped up to learn new positions, he said. He also praised senior Lane Methvin for showing leadership.
“Because of injuries, we have had to move the team around and have people playing positions they have never played before,” he said.
“He has gone to something very different than what was planned and has taken on that role as well.”
Sherri says Luke, the youngest of six, is “getting a little extra love” as he heals and is grateful to Centre’s coaches for looking out for him.
“I think the coaches did a really good job,” she said. “They have been dealt a really bad hand.”
Vinduska said some of the team’s younger players had injuries the coaches want checked out as well.
“We will wait and see what happens,” he said. “As long as we have eight players with two alternates we can play.”
Both Hudson and Peterson have faith in the team.
“We’ve still got heart and we will still fight for every play, at every game,” said Hudson.
Peterson said Centre’s outsize determination has been key to the team.
“We are small, but we are mighty,” he said. “We won’t give up.”
The Cougars are on the road at 7p.m. Friday at Solomon to take on the Gorillas.
Last modified Sept. 17, 2020