After a tremendous spring and summer that included a commitment to attend Stanford University on a football scholarship, Cypress Bay offensive lineman Joe McNamara had been looking forward to his senior year.
During the last week of two-a-day practices, the 6-2, 275-pounder saw his senior season evaporate in just one play when he partially tore his ACL.
“I planted and then my knee got caught and I heard a pop,” said McNamara, who was one of the top linemen in the state. “While I knew it was bad, I really didn’t think it was going to be this bad.”
While he initially took the news hard, McNamara, who will undergo surgery to repair the knee on his birthday, Sept. 9, understands that it could have been a lot worse, and although he will miss his final football season, he has a lot to look forward to.
Informing the coaches at Stanford about his injury, all are optimistic that McNamara will be back better than ever over the next six months.
“We told the coaches and they want me to get stronger and come out there next year ready to go,” McNamara said. “I just have to be positive about the entire thing. Stuff like this happens and I have to deal with it. I can help our team in so many other ways this season.”
McNamara, who wrestled last year for his father Pat, didn’t rule out trying to work hard enough to get back in February for districts. Although he would have to be cleared by the doctors, it will be one of those wait and see kind of things.
His father, who expects to have a very good wrestling team this year, was a little hesitant about seeing his son come back so soon. But he also knows that it may be the best thing for him if his knee completely heals over the next five to six months.
“We’ll have to see how the surgery goes first,” Pat McNamara said. “Then, we will monitor the progress of the knee. I told Joe if he does everything that he is told to do and the doctor clears him, getting back on the mat may be a great thing for him. But I am not making any promises.”