Sanger head coach Chuck Galbreath joked Tuesday that he needs a spreadsheet to keep up with all of the injuries his players have suffered this year.
After yet another injury-plagued game Friday, it might not be a bad idea.
In Friday’s loss to Aubrey, the Indians lost a senior team captain when Brice Escobedo broke two ribs and punctured a lung, only to play the remainder of the half before heading to the hospital at halftime.
“He was hurting. He didn’t say what was hurting,” Galbreath said. “He just acted like he was out of breath and exhausted. He said he could make it till half. At halftime the trainers said they thought he might have broken ribs, and sure enough he did.”
By Galbreath’s count, the Indians have suffered 13 injuries this season, have yet to play the same five offensive linemen in any two games and have seen every offensive lineman except the center go down with injuries. That includes sophomore tackle Zack Morris, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament before the season even began. All of that has played into the Indians getting off to an 0-5 start.
Center Kyle Scheffler, the team’s lone returning offensive starter from last season, suffered a foot injury in the spring and is hoping to return for district play in two weeks.
Starting quarterback Wyatt Broxson has missed two games with a shoulder injury. Then there’s starting running back Derek Shelby, who has missed the past two games with an ankle injury.
Escobedo, primarily a linebacker, was plugged in to replace Shelby last week and suffered the injury sometime in the first half.
“He’s always had a lot of toughness,” Galbreath said. “He didn’t share with us what the deal was, and he told me later that he wasn’t in that much pain. His oxygen level began to worsen because of the lung, and that’s why he was appearing to be out of breath.
“I thought it was kind of odd because he was mainly just playing offense and he was running hard and hadn’t played much running back. I thought he was just running his butt off and that’s what was causing him to be exhausted. Of course, he didn’t really know what was going on either.”
Luckily, Sanger trainer Will Hooper figured it out at halftime, after the adrenaline wore off and Escobedo began to experience more severe pain.
“Thank goodness our trainer did a great job of examining him, and he came to me and he said he was pretty sure he had a couple of broken ribs,” Galbreath said.
Escobedo will be unavailable for Thursday’s game against Frisco Lone Star. After that, Sanger has a bye before beginning district play Oct. 19 against undefeated Gainesville.
Galbreath hopes that by the time the Gainesville game rolls around, he will have a little more to work with.
“This is not only the most injuries I’ve had at Sanger, it is the most I’ve ever seen as a coach,” he said. “I think it’s just a freak thing more than anything else. I don’t have any explanation for it. Most of them have been in games. There’s been a few in practice, and we don’t go full contact in practice.”
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .