Speaking with Lumpkin County’s B.J. Dorsey last Tuesday afternoon outside the school’s football field house, it was apparent how deep it hurt to deliver the news to his teammates and coaches.
Dorsey is a tough, hard-nosed junior defensive end and one of the leaders for this team. But, on this day, he wasn’t trying to mask the disappointment he felt not getting to be right there on the field with his teammates.
For the rest of the season, he’s going to have no other choice than to be a leader from the sideline during the Indians’ playoff run and possible postseason, following his season-ending knee injury sustained the week before against North Hall.
Chalk this up as just another example of how life isn’t always fair. Bad things happen to good people all the time, and this seemed to be another textbook case. By the time practice came around Tuesday at Lumpkin County, most of the team and staff probably already knew they’d be playing without Dorsey’s presence the remainder of the season.
That day, Dorsey was just checking in to let them all know about the surgery scheduled for the following day.
With the torn MCL he suffered, Dorsey is looking at an eight week recovery period. However, for Dorsey, already a player receiving moderate Division-I attention from schools like Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Indiana, this may be just another chapter in his football journey. Just a stepping stone.
The long term prognosis for Dorsey is pretty good. Just like a Tommy John surgery on a baseball player’s arm, he may well likely come back just as good, or better, than before.
Just days after enduring the injury, he was already under the impression he’d be cleared when the time comes to take part in a winter combine for some of the top rising senior prospects in the country. This is big for a player looking to land a major college scholarship.
As we all know, college coaches put more emphasis on how players do in a camp than how they do on Friday nights.
Already, it’s taken an impact not having Dorsey on the field, losing last Friday against Stephens County. However, the Indians are not out of the region play-in picture with Friday’s game against Chestatee looming. This is a must-win situation for Lumpkin County, but one they should be able to win, even without Dorsey.
This injury reminds me of what Johnson graduate Gilberto Espinoza experienced last season. Espinoza was the heart and soul of that Knights defense from the linebacker spot and eager to prove he was worth a college scholarship, though not quite at as high of a level as Dorsey is being recruited.
Just like that, one hit can end the season. Players can learn from this that their season can end in the blink of an eye.
Whether a hard collision, or freak accident on the field, football is a contact sport and can leave a team without a team leader at the drop of a hat.