An elbow injury on his throwing arm wasn’t enough to sidetrack Chazz Surratt from catching North Carolina and University of Florida legend Chris Leak.
A week after suffering ligament damage in his left throwing elbow in a playoff victory against Wilkes Central, Surratt, the starting quarterback for East Lincoln, returned and took snaps on a single series. In that time he did just enough to earn the 8 yards of total offense to surpass Leake’s career total of 16,590 yards, which stood as the previous state record. He recently broke the state title for most career touchdowns (217) with a scoring pass to his brother in the North Carolina playoffs, as you can see below.
The record-setting drive served as a formal coda to Surratt’s glorious career, with the elbow injury requiring surgery that is expected to bring 4-6 months of rehabilitation with it. Surratt’s mother told the Charlotte Observer that Surratt would need surgery in the coming days, a procedure that would keep the North Carolina dual football/basketball commit out of basketball action for the entirety of the 2015-16 season.
Nonetheless, the state record will now be Surratt’s to keep, thanks to one final pass to Coleton Banks, made with his non-throwing right arm to avoid exacerbating his previous injury.
Surratt’s moment to shine came in the second half after he watched the entirety of the first two quarters in uniform on the sideline. He got in after the Stampede had built a decisive lead in what would eventually finish a 35-14 Easton Lincoln victory.
That means that Surratt is just one victory away from a state title, even though he won’t be able to take the field and compete for it himself. That wouldn’t make the career-capping crown any less sweet, just as his high school career-ending injury couldn’t put a damper on a state record he quite rightfully felt he deserved.
“To be told your high school career is over is devastating,” Brandi Surratt, Chazz Surratt’s mother told the Observer of his injury. “He’s just got to move on. There are people in much worse situations than Chazz. You can’t be selfish. But he’s such a competitor and such a team player. He’s never about himself and wants to be there for his teams. He feels he let people down. It’s just not the way you want to go out. You don’t want to feel forced out and he feels forced out.
“It’s a lesson to all children. It can be taken away in a matter of moments. Sports are a privilege. Fortunately for Chazz, he has a college career to look forward to, and not everybody does. That’s how we look at it. He’ll go to UNC and they’ll rehab him and take care of him and that is where he will get the best medical care. It makes perfectly good sense for us to send him there.”