The LEAP Student Blog
Brady Crane | Chief Sealth HS
One More Game
Hello, my name is Brady Crane and I am a senior at Chief Sealth High school in West Seattle. I play football in the fall and run track in the spring for my school. My junior year was my first year playing football and I actually ended up being voted a 1st Team All-Metro receiver after having a great breakout season. The following spring, I made it to the State Championships in track for the triple jump. It was a very fun experience even though I was the only one from my school who made it.
After track season ended, my mind was focused on one thing and one thing only; my senior year football season. I was so excited, determined, and ready to have a great year. I started working out every day with a few of my teammates, and preparing for the summer practices and tournaments. During the summer, I played pretty well in all of the games, and I improved a lot from the past season. I was more ready than ever to begin my senior season.
Our first game was against a Canadian team, called Notre Dame High School. My team didn’t really know what to expect from this team. We didn’t have any film, so we thought they might just be an average team from Canada who we could easily beat. On the day of the game, Notre Dame arrived and they were HUGE. These boys were bigger faster stronger than my team without a doubt. I didn’t let that get to me though; I wanted to perform on my first game.
This kickoff is a kickoff to remember.
As I stood back there ready to receive the opening kick from Notre Dame, I had a lot going through my head. I was thinking things like “it’s about to start finally!” and “I have to stand out today”.
*Whistle*……*Thud*…… The ball was kicked.
I saw the ball coming my way, and I ran up to catch it at around the 10 yard line. When I caught it, I just started running as fast as I could and avoided two attempted tackles, and then I saw daylight. I saw a hole in the blocking and attacked it, and returned the opening kickoff to the house. The very first play of my season was a touchdown. Wow I was happy with that play. Although we lost that game, I ended up scoring two more touchdowns and racked up around 100 yards receiving.
For the next few games, I continued to perform very well, and things were looking good for me. All of my hard work was starting to pay off.
Then, the Ballard game came around. It was the fourth game of the season, and was being played at Memorial Stadium. About halfway through the game, we were losing 14-0, and I wanted to make a huge play to get us back in the game. I told my coach to run Fly 5.2, so I could get the ball on a handoff to the right. The play was called, and as my quarterback Weston said “hut” I started running towards him to get the handoff. After I got it, I saw a lot of space, for a moment… I attacked the space, but one of my teammates missed a key block and I ended up being stuffed up. I don’t like being stuffed up. I don’t like being tackled. I hate it. So even after I got stuffed hard, I still tried to spin out of the tackle. This was a horrible decision. After spinning around, another player came and tackled me onto the ground, and as I tried to put my hand down to keep myself up, I felt a *SNAP*…
So much pain. My hand was in so much pain. I ran to the sideline and just fell to the ground. I had no idea what was wrong with my hand I could not even move it. The trainer ran over to me, examined my hand, and knew immediately that it was broken.
All she said to me was “You’re done”.
I started crying into my coach’s stomach while I kneeled on the ground. I just wanted to play. So bad.
That night, my lovely girlfriend brought me Chinese food and we watched Friday Night Lights to distract myself from my hand.
The next day I went to the doctor for X-rays and further examinations. The doctor took two hours to finish looking at my hand to determine how long I would be out. When he finally returned, the news he gave me hurt ten times as much as the hand injury.
He said to me, “Brady I’m afraid your season is over”…
The seven words that I’ll never forget. All of my hard work and dedication and excitement leading up to this season, and all I get are three and a half games. I was completely devastated, and didn’t leave my house for a few days.
At practice the following week, I arrived and broke the news to my team. My teammates and coaches were very sympathetic and knew I was in a lot of pain, but they still had a season to focus on, and I didn’t want to get in the way of that.
As a captain, it is very hard and frustrating to lead from the sideline. But I started to figure out good ways to support and help out my team. Even though I would obviously not be playing, I still had a good time watching my team and helping them make plays and win games after I got hurt.
Before the last game of the season, I had a visit with my doctor to check in on my hand. When the doctor got done looking at my hand, I had a burning question on my mind: Could I possibly play the last game with a cast on my hand? I asked my doctor, and at first, he kind of chuckled and didn’t take it seriously, but after he noticed I was serious, he realized how important it was to me. I asked him if there was a way we could play with the cast on and wrap it up in some foam so it is very protected and safe. My doctor seemed unsure about his decision, but after a lot of thought and more evaluating, he said I could do it.
I can play. ONE MORE GAME. With one hand though…. But still, ONE MORE GAME. I was so excited to suit up with my team one last time and play football again.
Our game was at Bainbridge High School, and it was pretty wet when we got there. I didn’t like the rain because it meant we didn’t throw the ball too much so I wouldn’t get the ball as much.
The game started, and it was everything I remembered. The lights, the fans, and butterflies in my stomach, it was all so thrilling. I got the ball a couple times in the first half and got kind of banged up because I wasn’t used to being hit so much.
In the second half, the rain cleared up and we were going to start passing the ball more. We were on the 40 yard line, and we called a pass play where I would run deep and be thrown the ball. My quarterback said “hut”, and as the ball was snapped, I broke my jam off of the line, and started running as fast as I could. I had two people that were guarding me pretty closely, but my quarterback didn’t care. He took a risk, and threw the ball up in the hair in my direction…
While the ball was in the air, I was thinking “how am I going to catch this with one hand, especially when it is four hands against one” and “why did my quarterback throw this?” But when the ball came within jumping distance of me, I reached up and I made a great leaping one handed catch over two people, broke a tackle, and ran into the end zone. This was such a great feeling. I got very emotional because I had missed that feeling of scoring so much. It felt unbelievable and still to this day, is my favorite memory from high school.
I learned a lot from that season. I learned how to be a different kind of leader and motivate from the sideline, I learned how to get past some tough situations, and most of all, I learned how to overcome one of the worst things that’s ever happened to me.
Six months later, I am still doing physical therapy for my hand, and training extremely hard to hopefully play college football next year.