By Thomas Oide,
Quinn Williams remembers the day clearly.
Sept. 13 home game against Vintage High School. Quarterback lead to the left. His running back, Wally Perez, throws a nice block to pick up a linebacker coming downhill.
Perez’s block opens up a small hole in the line upfield that Williams can explode through for a nice gain. He plants his surgically repaired left knee into the turf to make a cut to the right. His knee buckles.
“I was pretty sure right then that it was torn,” Williams said.
After that fateful play on his final night in a Blue Devil uniform, Williams could not walk off the field under his own power, crumpling to the ground when he tried to walk off the field by himself.
Williams, the starting quarterback for the Davis High football team, tore his ACL for the second time in two years in week two against Vintage. Although the doctor’s could not fully diagnose the tear due to excessive amounts of fluid in Williams’ knee, the senior quarterback says his doctors were “pretty much certain” that it was a clean tear.
It is Williams’ second ACL tear in two football seasons.
“It’s been really hard. Last year, it was all about, ‘I have another year, so I can get my leg stronger and come back and help the team out.’ But this year it’s been tough because it’s two years in a row,” Williams said, as he watched his teammates practice. “It’s hard… I mean, I’m glad [the team] got that win, but it’s just been so hard to watch. I couldn’t even go to the last game because it’s too hard to watch. I don’t know.”
Talk to Williams, and he seems fine. After being sentenced to crutches for the better portion of last year, Williams is already walking on his left knee and can also run in a straight line. However, the senior cannot make lateral cutting motions, an invaluable skill for all football players to have.
Williams wants to play rugby this spring, and will be doing plenty of rehab to strengthen the muscles around his knee.
“I’m going to try to do a lot of rehab during the football season and try and play limited minutes during the rugby season. I’ll get surgery after the rugby season,” Williams said. “My surgeon said in Europe, playing without your ACL after you tear it is a big thing. I can run in a straight line, it’s just all the shifting and cutting. If I do repair it before rugby season, the risk of re-injury is way higher.”
Williams already knows that he has played his final snap of football. He doesn’t plan on trying to make a third effort to return to football in college. However, Williams, a three-year varsity football player, does want to keep sports in his life in college.
“I’m done with football,” Williams said. “It’s not really safe for me to try and compete at the collegiate level. I’m going to try and play rugby, it’s just an easier sport. I can take it easy at [rugby] practices, and put less stress on my knee, where with football, you have to practice every day and work on your craft much more than rugby.”