Skyline senior Caleb Reedy remembers his last football game like it was yesterday, even though it was nearly a year ago.
Reedy was a junior last year for Skyline, one that head coach Heath Gilbert had high hopes for to be another weapon in the Hawks offense.
With good size at 6-feet-1-inch tall, 180 pounds, and plenty of speed, Reedy was a gifted athlete.
But during the first game of the 2017 campaign against Central, Reedy’s season came to a crashing end.
During a kick-off return in the fourth quarter against the Falcons, in what was a close game at 21-13 Central, Reedy was sprinting toward the sideline when he was hit square on his right leg.
Reedy went down in a heap and immediately knew something was wrong.
“It was a square hit, and I was in excruciating pain,” Reedy said. “I knew it wasn’t good.”
Reedy suffered a broken femur in his right leg and was out for the season.
“My junior year was supposed to be big, and I was hoping to do big things for the team,” Reedy said before a recent Skyline practice. “I was devastated.”
Next came the grueling rehab.
But Reedy relished the opportunity to return to the field and breezed through the grind to became what he calls being nearly 100 percent for the Hawks opener on Friday.
“The rehab was easier than I thought it would be,” Reedy said. “Getting back to [full strength] was slow, but I had a good time doing it.
“I just love the sport, and I wanted to get back out there play.”
With the graduation of several key performers from last year’s squad, including star quarterback Ryan Scott, leading rusher Quentin Diggs, and leading receivers Louis Garcia and Trenton King, the Hawks will lean heavily on Reedy this year to replace a lot of that production.
Reedy will start at wide receiver, but will also line up in the backfield in Skyline’s WildHawk formation, carrying the ball and sometimes even passing it as well.
“Caleb is as talented as anyone we will face this year,” Gilbert said. “He attacked his rehab and was very determined to get back to 100 percent. I think he is even better now than he was last year. He put time in here at Skyline and through FASST in Winchester. He deserves a healthy season to show his ability, and I’m looking forward to watching him perform.”
Reedy says he prefers lining up outside and running pass routes, but will do whatever coach Gilbert assigns him to do to help the team.
“I know coach Gilbert will put me in the best position to help the team,” Reedy said. “I will do whatever the team needs.”
Having the added pressure of being the player that everyone is counting on to replace the lost production does not faze Reedy. In fact, he relishes the challenge.
And worrying about taking another hit on his repaired leg isn’t in Reedy’s mindset.
“I guess it is in the back of my mind, but I don’t think of it,” Reedy said. “But we got a great new quarterback, and our offensive line is better than last year. We have some good players.”
Reedy is also expected to make an impact on defense from his strong safety position.
“I hoping to play a lot of defense, I really like it,” Reedy said. “I like hitting people and setting the edge.”
Reedy believes most opponents will look past the Hawks, and he thinks that will be a mistake for them.
“I believe we will win a lot more games this year,” Reedy said. “As long as we are physical up front. I do think people will underestimate us.”