SWANNANOA – Injuries can and will pop up at any time in a violent game like football.
Even with that reality, it seems extra cruel that Owen might have possibly lost a playmaker like Sidney Gibbs before the season ever starts.
And in a non-contact exercise.
Gibbs is a rising junior who rushed for 1,750 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2015.
He went down with a serious knee injury in a recent 7-on-7 game. And even though Gibbs’ family is holding out hope, he will likely need season-ending surgery to repair ligament damage.
“You’re always devastated as a coach to see any kid get injured,” Warhorses coach Nathan Padgett said.
“We all saw how much Sidney put into it this offseason, and this just breaks my heart as a coach.”
Gibbs was an All-Western Highlands Conference and Citizen-Times All-WNC back last fall. He rumbled for 293 yards and three touchdowns in the only win for the Warhorses (1-9), a 49-6 victory at Avery County.
Running plays are not allowed in 7-on-7 football so Owen hasn’t had to worry about compensating for the loss of Gibbs just yet. But the tentative plan is to move last year’s fullback, Cyrus Hooper (401 yards, two touchdowns), to tailback if it comes to that.
Owen is at home for its Aug. 19 season opener with Enka.