Feature · Sports

Football player on road to recovery

Maya Hall
Lantern Staff

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Tywonne Harris warms up on a stationary bike before beginning his physical training session. Since his injury in November, Harris has been doing physical therapy until he fully recovers. Maya Hall

Tywonne Harris was a part of this year’s Butler Grizzlies football team. Harris is a freshman from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and he had some major contributions to this year’s team success.

“I started playing football when I was seven-years-old,” Harris said. “I always had a love for the game, and I always wanted to play, so I just started playing.”

Harris also has a great-uncle who was an All-American in high school.

“My great uncle played, and he was an All-American, but got injured in college and just stopped playing,” Harris said. “My dad played a little bit in high school, but he was not that good.”

This is Harris’ second year at Butler, but he had previously attended school in Louisiana. He is now on scholarship to play here.

“Coming out of high school, I went to Louisiana Tech University,” Harris said. “I got kicked out of school there, and it was really an eye-opener for me. The coaches here at Butler contacted me and wanted me to come play for them, and that is how I got here.”

This year’s Grizzly football team started off the year 5-0, before suffering back to back losses going into early October, and Harris had his fair share of misfortune as well.

“There were a lot of ups and downs the fall season,” Harris said. “We started winning; the energy was high. My mom passed this football season. I was playing my first start, and she passed on a Friday the day before the game. That was a big low, and it was the next month that I blew out my knee and was out for the rest of the season.”

The Grizzlies responded nicely, though, after the losses, pulling off three straight wins before falling to Iowa Western in early November. Harris suffered his injury during this game.

“I dislocated my left knee when I was going to try and block a field goal,” Harris said. “I got pushed in my back, and my foot got stuck in the ground. Then, I got kicked right in my knee, and it bent in and was dislocated. I tore my ACL, LCL, PCL and my hamstring. It was really painful.”

Harris does physical training and therapy weekly at the training center in the gym. He works hard to fully recover and get back to practicing and playing.

“It has been hard, but there have been some good days too,” Harris said. “Some days I wake up feeling good like I’m ready to start back playing, but I know it’s a long process. Some days I wake up, and it’s just aching, like I can’t even move. But I know I’m gonna get back, so I just keep going.”

Harris continued to be a part of the team, and watched as his Butler teammates went on to win the Midwest Classic Bowl against Trinity Valley. Butler finished off the year 10-3, and Harris was a major part of the team’s success.

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