Max Rader Cleared to Play for Senior Night


Joey Bonadonna, Sports Editor, Online Tritonian

On May 8, 2021, Notre Dame’s Max Rader suffered a serious shoulder injury against Stoughton in the last game of his junior football season. 

Rader, who committed to North Dakota State on a football scholarship this summer, had suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder, which left a lengthy timetable for his return.

“Five months ago when I went to the doctor, they told me that I would be out for at least six months. And as I talked to other athletes who had similar injuries, most likely longer,” Rader said. “I never really thought I would have the chance again. There were glimpses of hope, but I never really wanted to get my hopes up.”

However, defying all odds, he has been cleared to play starting this week on senior night against Sheboygan South.

Ranked as one of the best linemen in the state of Wisconsin, Rader figures to bring a new energy to the Tritons with his return to the field. 

“Having a fellow captain back on the field is definitely important to what we’re trying to accomplish,” said senior captain fullback/linebacker Braedon Curtin. Curtin and Rader, along with Keegan King and Jay Strain were voted as senior captains for this year’s team.

At the same time, Rader is just thankful for the opportunity to get to play high school football again.

“The biggest thing about these final few games is just the experience. Walking off the field in Stoughton, I was unaware of the true severity of the injury that I sustained,” Rader said. “These last games will give me a chance to really take in the end of my high school football career.” 

Perhaps the most important factor of his return is getting to play for his dad and football head coach, Mike Rader. The Rader family lives and breathes Triton athletics, with Max being the fourth of five siblings to come through Notre Dame Academy.

“To be honest, words can’t describe the feeling that is going through my house right now,” Max said. “It almost feels surreal because we all thought there would never really be a chance to play on the team again. It means the world to me.”

Rader’s return comes at a great time as after the matchup with Sheboygan South, the Tritons will begin playing in the WIAA football playoffs for the first time since 2019. The Tritons haven’t appeared at state since 2016 and haven’t taken home the gold ball since 2015. Rader, who was in middle school at the time, says he recalls the electric atmosphere of Camp Randall Stadium.

The Tritons currently sit at 4-4 and 4-2 in conference play, with most losses coming against D1 and D2 schools. In the D3 playoffs, the playing field will be much more level.

“The team is rolling right now, and we are playing some of the best football we have all season,” Rader said.

The “Road to Randall” is officially on for the Tritons.