A bone-crushing hit.
It’s a phrase that has been used to describe jarring hits on the football field for a long time. It is generally overstated, as the players usually get up and walk back to the huddle or sideline.
It is part of the game and everyone who buckles a chinstrap knows it is a possibility.
Chad Rosell would have dealt with his bone-crushing hit much easier had it happened just that way. He’d consider it as a point of pride, something that happened while he was competing. Instead, it happened in a parking lot while being smashed between two vehicles.
It’s one thing to lose time — try one-and-a-half years — because you are sandwiched between two tacklers, but getting stuck in between about 7,000 pounds of metal is something completely different.
“Every once in awhile it still crosses my mind,” Rosell said. “It used to be a lot more, but I still think about what kind of player I might be and what my role would be on the team.”
Rosell got a glimpse of what might have been last Friday when he broke loose for a 35-yard touchdown run against Sierra Vista Buena in a 69-0 win.
It was his first varsity touchdown after fighting back from an inner bone bruise to his right femur and muscle damage.
“When I was running down the sideline it was like a new experience all over again,” he said. “Just grabbing the ball and running again... It felt so good to be normal again, doing something I love to do. I was thinking I had to score and make my family happy.”
The Pride sideline was pretty ecstatic when Rosell broke loose and found the end zone.
“Everyone came up (off the bench) for him when he scored,” senior Luis Sharpe said. “To see him get to the end zone was nice. He was a good player and it wasn’t a football injury that slowed him down. It was cool for him to score his senior year.”
The two-year mark of the incident will come in October. It is clear what happened hasn’t faded a bit for Rosell or his mother, Beth.
“Your heart just stops and you can’t get there fast enough,” she said. “I couldn’t get my seat belt off and it felt like I took forever to get to him.”
They were in the Mountain Pointe parking lot after a junior varsity practice.
Their SUV was going to be the spot where the players got their sport drinks after practice. Rosell went behind their car to help load the drinks into the back of their vehicle.
Another mother pulled up to unload her contribution. She got out of the vehicle but never put it in park. It rolled toward the Rosells’ car and pinned him in between.
The other vehicle hit him, bounced off, hit him again and bounced off a couple more times before it was put in park.
“I was trying not to get emotional, and hold it together for him, because I had to be the strong one,” Beth said. “I felt terrible for the other mother and what she was going through, too. We had to stay focused and get Chad safe.”
The damage was mostly to his right leg, with muscle damage, fluid in the knee, and an inner bone bruise in the femur that will probably never heal and give him trouble the rest of his life.
He still has some pain flare-ups and misses some practice, but the hardest part was the emotional side of it. He had never been hurt and, all of a sudden, he was on crutches on the sidelines and rehabbing instead of a huddle.
“It was really hard on him and he had some tough times at school,” Beth said. “There were days he was in too much pain to go, and other days he was OK. He missed so much time that he had to take summer classes.
“He was the ball boy on game days sometimes, while all of the teammates he came up with were playing and winning games. He was part of it, but he wasn’t, too.”
While Rosell dressed out last year and got in one game, the 5-foot-10, 154-pounder has played in two games this year and shown flashes of what could have been.
“He is a good kid,” Pride coach Norris Vaughan said. “Truth of the matter is, he has some speed and talent. He gives us some depth.”
Rosell is proud that he has made it back, even though he isn’t a starter and hopes he gets a chance to prove himself over the next couple of years.
“I want to play at a junior college,” he said. “I have showed that I have will power, and that I am willing to stick through during tough times.
“If I got a chance I know I’d make the most of it, because I know what it is like to not be able to play.”
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