Junior Returns to Field After Injury

Kevin Willis, Staff Writer

The ball is snapped. Testosterone trumps the noise of the crowd, and the only thing anyone can hear is the voice in their own head. Junior linebacker Jaret Allen runs towards the play and has to make a sharp turn. He fails to plant his feet, and his knee gives way.

After a debilitating injury last season where he tore his ACL,  Allen will return to the football field on Thursday. 

“Like everyone, I’m anxious to make a good first impression on the Lindale community,” Allen said. “I’m also ready to show everyone that me and the team are prepared to show what we’ve got.” 

Allen started his football career when he was around ten years old. It was a healthy outlet for him, as well as a way to have fun. 

 “I started playing pee wee and it was kind of just a way for me to relax,” Allen said. “In my earlier years it was really just a way for me to have fun, get out there and do something productive instead of staying inside all day. I was one of those kids that wanted to go outside and have fun.” 

The beginning of high school was when things really began to take off for Allen, in regards to his football ability. He started to show true signs of talent. 

“Around freshman year I actually started being kind of athletic. I started actually doing things on the field,” Allen said. “That made me enjoy the sport more than I already did and I knew that this was something I wanted to do.” 

 Jaret earned a starting varsity spot his sophomore year, an honor that very few can claim for themselves. 

“It let me know that I knew this was what I wanted to do,” Allen said. “I knew this was something I could pursue and become the best I can be at it.”

In the middle of one game, Allen went down. He was in pain, but it was still bearable for the most part. 

 “The moment I got injured, nobody really knew what happened,” Allen said. “We didn’t see the knee injury on film and the trainer, Coach Greer, told me that I may have torn it, but I may not have. I got on the sideline, started running, and felt okay, but obviously I wasn’t okay, so I sat out and went to get a MRI.”

Then he got the news that he would be out for the remainder of the season, and possibly the beginning of the next season as well. 

 “[When] I got the news that it was torn, the realization of  ‘I’m gonna be out, not going to go full speed for the next month’ was devastating,” Allen said.

 Allen credits his optimistic mind-set for getting through his injury. Without it, the process would’ve been a lot more grueling. 

 “The main thing for me was that I had to stay positive, otherwise I don’t know if I would’ve gotten through it,” Allen said. “If you’re not positive, it’s going to just get worse and worse.” 

Along with that positive attitude, others commend Allen for his leader-like qualities. The natural hard-worker he is certainly made the process go by smoother. 

“I think Jaret has some natural leadership abilities that come out. It’s very evident to see,” defensive coordinator Scott Rozell said. “Jaret Allen is an extremely hard worker. I watched him through his younger years. I thought that through his work ethic that he’d be a good football player. You can tell a great deal about a young man by the way he approaches things.” 

Now, after months of rehabilitation, Allen is back and ready to play. He has his spot back on varsity and he’s looking to make the most of it. 

“The main thing is to stay positive,” Allen said. “[My main goal is] to be the best I can be. I’m always trying to strive to be the best I can be to see where that takes me.”