The worst part of playing a physically tough non-league game is the risk of injury to a key player that can derail postseason plans.
Colony was fortunate that it had none in its long line of juggernaut opponents.
But Upland had several major players hurt in a 43-14 loss to Mater Dei on Sept. 18. The good news is that the Highlanders had a patsy opponent the next week in Los Angeles George Washington Prep. Then came the bye week. So players have had the better part of three weeks to get healthy.
That’s not to stay they they will be 100%. But they will play in Friday’s Baseline League opener against Etiwanda at Colony High School.
The worst injury was an ankle sprain sustained by senior Cole McCarty, who starts at linebacker and fullback and plays on all special teams. Coach Tim Salter feared his player had a broken ankle the night it happened but that wasn’t the case.
“We were really aggressive with treatment and physical therapy,” Salter said. “He’s still limping a little but he has been practicing and will be able to play.”
The other injuries were to senior wide receiver Gary Theard (hip/back), senior defensive lineman Kelon Ferdinand (ankle), senior running back Darreyon Jones (headaches) and senior defensive back Andrew Davis (ankle). All will be available this week.
Senior wide receiver Grant Porter (broken foot) remains out but the Highlanders haven’t had him all season as the injury occurred in practice before the first game. Salter is hoping to have him back for the playoffs and says having him back before that would be “a luxury.”
The good thing for the Highlanders is that they have depth at that position.