Pandemic/Offseason Injury Won’t Slow Senior Jensen


Madison Lamb

Jensen (4) chases down Tempe running back Cameron Galbreath. The Coyotes dominated the Buffaloes 47-7 at home on Friday, Oct. 9.

Jasmine Giomi, Director of Staff Relations

Before you work out or play sports you are supposed to stretch, senior running back Joey Jensen had not stretched prior to a workout a day in his life. Jensen was warming up to run drills with his dad on a cold December morning, just before new years eve. It was 40 degrees outside, but the brisk air didn’t seem to bother him as jogged in shorts and a t-shirt. It was a normal football training routine like any other day. He did a quick warm up and got to work, as he was running he felt a pop and fell to the ground. He didn’t know how to feel because it didn’t seem like it was true.

Football had been over for almost two months and just before new years eve he pulled his hamstring for the first time and it soon became a chronic injury.

“The second pull was from when I was at a wide receiver camp and I did a double move,”Jensen said. “I planted on my right foot and tried going fast right off the bat and it popped again and it didn’t feel good.”

He pulled it the third time while working with his speed training coach. He thankfully recovered around May and was able to start training for his final season.

The spring COVID-19 “Safer at home” guidelines left Jensen annoyed that his senior season season might not happen. He already had to sit out of track and field season his junior year due because of the hamstring injury. When the football season was at risk for him for senior year, it was a “nightmare” to not be able to play the game he loves.

Jensen has been playing football for nearly 11 years, he started playing when he was about seven years old. When he was a sophomore playing in varsity the guys were a whole lot bigger, and he was a little guy at the time.

“I can’t remember how my dad explained it but you have to earn your spot and keep it until someone is better than you to earn that spot,” Jensen said “Just making new friends at this point. During high school these are the friend groups you’re going to be hanging out with the next 10 years after high school.”

Being apart of the football program for four years Jensen considers football to be his second home and he relies on his “brothers” or teammates a lot.

“Football is like a brotherhood to Jensen. Being able to have those memories with the 30 or so guys, and practicing with them from about seven or eight months.”

Jensen didn’t start realizing his talent for football until freshman year, Curtis Jensen Joey’s dad said that he has a natural instinct behind the sport and my football. Curtis has been one of his coaches for 7 years. During social isolation his dad was the number one reason why he was able to do speed training, it’s a lot of money but it’s really good training. Curtis has also trained NFL wide receivers.

Curtis made him play football when he was seven and started to develop an interest with all the excitement of the years.

One of Jensen’s favorite memories when he was in the San Tan Youth Football League and won his first football championship at age 10. Connor Wiles was in the little league that I am still playing with today. It reminds him of how little they were and how much they’ve accomplished together.
He has won many awards throughout high school such as offensive MVP freshman year. A team offensive MVP, all region flex utility player of the year sophomore year; and Junior year running back, all region, first team all region wide receiver and the team award for MVP.

During quarantine Jensen started making goals for himself and thought on what things to do differently for next season. He has taken weight training and lifting a whole lot seriously since he’s not the typical size for a running back being 5’11 and 193. His dad Curtis helped him through the process of gaining that weight and keeping it.

“My personal goal is to at least get 1500 rushing yards, 1000 receiving yards on offense. On defense 80 tackles and 5 interceptions.” Jensen said. He is hopefully planning on going to ASU or NAU on a full ride scholarship for football after he graduates.