BACONTON, GA (WALB) - A Torn ACL is a perfect excuse to sit out an entire football season.
But for the heart and soul of Baconton Charter's football program, it was just a speed bump en route to a career year.
"Every time I gave him the ball, I held my breath," said Baconton Charter 1st year coach Randy Grace.
Blazers fullback Max Deen suffered a torn ACL in the third game of the season.
Doctors advised him to get surgery and sit out, but this was his senior year.
"If I would've given up and would've set back and let all of that happen," said Deen. "I wouldn't have been satisfied."
Deen instead opted for the T-Scope brace. While limiting his lateral movement, it allowed him to return to the field and finish the season.
That's something head Coach Randy Grace hadn't experienced in 22 years of coaching.
"Without a doubt the toughest kid I ever coached in my life," said Grace. "It was a blessing to have him out there."
"Adversity can cause men to break," Deen said from one of his favorite quotes. "But it can also cause them to break records."
Deen went with the latter.
He had 5 100-yard rushing games, leading the Blazers to tying their best record in program history (3-7).
His 872 rushing yards, and seven total touchdowns earned him the Team MVP and offensive player of the year.
But let Deen tell it, he didn't do it for the awards.
"It was tough. I had to fight through it. But I do it for my teammates, I'd do anything for them."
What he lacked in a ligaments, he made up for with an organ: his heart.
The Blazers' motto is none of us is as strong as all of us.
Deen and the Blazers proved that in the pump house and on the field.
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