(Photo courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics)

This may sound hard to believe, but when I broke my leg last season against Syracuse, I didn't know it right away.

I knew something was off, but I actually thought I would be okay. I stayed in the game for three more plays so we could finish our drive, and it was only when I got the x-ray taken that I realized my leg was broken. And just like that my season was over.

Jamie Newman took over as the starting quarterback, and he guided our team to three wins over our last four games. The first win was maybe the most exciting of all. We were playing  No. 14 N.C. State on the road, and trailed 23-13 with just over six minutes to go. Jamie hit Greg Dortch for a touchdown to pull within 23-20, and after our defense forced a turnover on downs with 1:39 to go, we had one last chance.

In that moment I wasn't jealous of Jamie or thinking about my broken leg, I was just cheering for our team to win. And I watched as Jamie put together a heroic drive. He drove our team to the 32-yard line with just 37 seconds to go when the Wolfpack called for an all-out blitz on Jamie. And when he found our tight end Jack Freudenthal up the middle, there was nobody in front of him. And just like that we had pulled off the upset.

We would beat Duke in the regular season finale to qualify for a bowl game, and then we beat Memphis 37-34 to finish the season at 7-6.

 
 

Jamie had helped me become the quarterback I am today, and I was so happy to see the way he performed at the end of last year. I know that I wasn't out there for those games, but I came here to help Wake Forest win. And whether that meant encouraging Jamie or pointing out what I was seeing from the sidelines, I was going to do my part.

I've been back with the team since January, and we're just finishing up our spring ball workouts now. It's been great to be back out there with my teammates, building that chemistry and envisioning what next season is going to look like.

I don't know if next year is a time for happiness or a time for sorrow, and I don't if next year will be a season of winning or a season of losing. All I know is that with Demitri’s initials on my wrist and his number on my jersey, I'm going to give it everything I have.

There's always a time for that.

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Thomas Hager1 Comment