Verdegan Looks to Life After High School Football

Jacob Hilliard, Staff Writer

Standout running back Jameson Verdegan of the Notre Dame Tritons had his season cut short by a torn labrum in his right arm.  Verdegan suffered the injury in the Tritons 31-14 victory over the Trojans of Southwest.  When asked about the play he was injured on, Verdegan said, “When I hit the ground, it just hurt immediately and I knew right there that this injury wasn’t going to be something I could play through.”

It’s never easy to hear that your season is over, but it’s even harder when the originally diagnosed injury that would’ve only sidelined Verdegan for a week turns out to be a season ending injury.

When asked about how he dealt with the news, Verdegan said, “It was mostly shock and disbelief at first, but as I snapped back to reality I realized that it’s only a game.  There is so much more to life than just football.  I will always have the memories playing with the guys out there on that turf, no doubt some of the best years of my life so far, but now I need to start thinking about my future without football.”

The injury to Verdegan not only affected the Tritons football team on the field, but off it as well.  “It really took something out of the whole team when James went down.  We all are just such good friends on and off the field that when one of us goes down and then finds out a week later that its a season ending injury, you really just don’t know what to say. All you can do is be there for him,.” said Tritons quarterback Charlie Rotherham.

The Tritons football team did the best they could in response to hearing the news and trying to comfort Jameson.

“Some of the kids wrote his (Verdegan’s) number and initials on their wrist tape or cleats for the game against Pulaski after hearing the news, and I found that to be kind of neat for him seeing just how much the kids on this team love him,”  said Varsity football coach John Nowak.

The Tritons football coach also presented Verdegan with the game ball after beating Pulaski 25-7.  “It was a special moment for me,” said Verdegan. “It made the victory against Pulaski that much sweeter knowing they went out and won that game for me.”

After being asked about how he is doing now three weeks after suffering the injury, Verdegan simply said, “I’ve got two of the best friends in the world in you (Jacob Hilliard) and Sav (John Savona) by my side who really have made getting through this a lot easier.  Plus the love and support of my mom has been huge not only in dealing with the injury, but just throughout my whole life.  So it really hasn’t been too bad.  Now I’m just focused on school and my future in college.”

Verdegan still tries to bestill is a major part of the team even though he is not playing.  At practice he helps with the freshman program and still cheers on his teammates every step of the way wishing them nothing but the best.