Hale Overcomes Injury To Lead The Pack To Victory


Jasmine Giomi

Quarterback Tanner Hale watches defense on the field with Junior receiver Hunter Clare.

Varsity quarterback Tanner Hale injured his knee late into the fourth quarter of a 46-28 loss to the Apache Junction Prospectors on October 29. 

“Coach called a pass play, and I rolled to my right and a kid grabbed a hold of my shoulder pads and kind of put his knee into my knee and just folded me down and I rolled over,” Hale said 

Hale laid on the ground for a few minutes as coaches Travis Miller and Paul Schreel followed by the athletic trainer Jayson Nielsen ran over to make sure he was doing okay.

“I felt this weight come on me and my knee rolled over and I just felt pain come onto the inside of my knee and I couldn’t walk at all that night or put any weight on it.”

He was not worried about the pain at the time but only the ripples that would affect him while being injured. 

“My injury is not going to stop me, whatever it is, I’m gonna come back better.” Hale said.

That did not stop him at all, once he got the MRI results back he wanted to power through with the help of Nielsen.

“Tanner had an MRI and has been cleared by our team, Dr. Weinstein at Sports and Orthopedic Specialists,” Nielsen said, “Right now we are working on his strength and mobility, he will be ready to play by Friday.”

Hale has been playing football since the age of five, on the varsity team since sophomore year, and involved in the Combs program since middle school. 

The results from his MRI showed a badly strained muscle in his knee and a deep bone bruise. It was only bad enough to have the brace on for the next six weeks.

“I’m happy that nothing is torn and rehab will be a lot easier. I’m trying to play this week and finish off the season with my boys,” Hale said “I’m working with Mr Nielsen everyday to be right for Friday. I need to make sure I am physically ready to compete by Friday night.”

When Friday night’s game rolled around against the Tempe Buffalo’s Hale was dressed out and ready to play. He got knocked down twice but that did not stop him. He got right back up and finished his last football game of the season.

“I felt good playing last night! A little pain wasn’t gonna stop me. I worked with Mr. Nielsen all week and got physically ready to compete,” Hale said,  “I am honestly blessed that the injury wasn’t worse. But I’m glad I got to go out there with my senior boys one last time and win.” 

They ended the season with a bang of 55-6, winning both their homecoming game and last game of the season. Hale finished off the season with 247 passing yards, throwing 4 touchdown passes. He will finish his recovery in order to play next season, for senior year.