Sportsmanship takes center stage for Hawks, Falcons after Reedy injury

Caleb Reedy Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL — A very sad moment turned into a beautiful scene last week.

Skyline junior Caleb Reedy broke his right leg on a play against Central during their football game last Friday night. Play was stopped for approximately 30 minutes while he was attended to and eventually taken away in a ambulance. However, it was what happened next that caught the eye of many in attendance.

Skyline’s players went over to say goodbye to Reedy as he was put in the ambulance and Reedy gave them a thumbs up. The team went to midfield and huddled together to say a prayer. As they did that, Central’s players followed suit and then both team’s cheerleaders and coaches followed to join them in the prayer.

“I think that was a great moment in high school sports,” Central coach Mike Yew said. “It doesn’t matter whether it was here in the valley, or where it’s at. Any time you see something like that it’s special.”

Skyline coach Heath Gilbert said it was a great moment to see and be a part of under such bad circumstances.

“For the Central kids to come across — I get chills thinking about it right now,” Gilbert said on Wednesday afternoon. “I actually have that as my screen saver as my background on my laptop right now. And they came and they intermingled and we all said a prayer. The first thing my wife says to me when she gets off the field is the adults in our world can learn a lot from these boys.”

Gilbert said it said a lot about the players and Central coaches for them to join in the prayer.

“It didn’t matter what kind of view you had, or what you looked like,” Gilbert said. “All that mattered was here’s another kid that’s like me that likes to play football. And he’s lost a season, and he had a serious injury and it didn’t matter for those kids. They just wanted to be together and pray for him.”

Yew said he didn’t instruct his team to join them and coaches are not allowed to lead prayers. He said it was something the players decided to do on their own.

Gilbert said he was also proud of his players and how they handled the very difficult situation.

“I was just as proud, obviously of our kids,” Gilbert said. “And the amount of kids that went to see him at the hospital and spent time with him and reaching out — it’s been fantastic. The older you get the easier it is to see it’s about the football family rather than just trying to win football games.”

Skyline senior running back Quentin Diggs said it was tough to see Reedy suffering like he was.

“It’s something that I never want to go through again,” Diggs said. “To see one of our brothers go through something like that. It just puts a bad feeling in my stomach knowing he won’t be on the field with us this year.”

Gilbert said Reedy is out of the hospital and could be back in school by next week.

He said Reedy is already progressing really well. Gilbert said he wasn’t supposed to come home from the hospital until Tuesday, but because of how quickly he was recovering he came home on Sunday.

“The very first day of rehab he actually got up with a walker and was able to use the restroom on his own,” Gilbert said. “The nurses were just blown away by how strong he is.”

Gilbert said Reedy had put in a lot of work in the offseason and was probably going to have a big season for the Hawks.

Gilbert said he has no doubt that Reedy will come back stronger than ever.

“He had surgery at 11:30 in the morning and by 4:30 or 5 he was up using the bathroom on his own — talk about Superman,” Gilbert said.