Student Spotlight: After hiatus, senior Jon Cox returns to the gridiron

Senior Jon Cox’s ACL is completely torn, but that won’t stop him from playing his senior season. Though not ideal for explosive sports like football, it is possible to play with a torn ACL. For Cox, who’s been playing since the seventh grade, it was an easy decision to put the pads back on as a safety for his senior season despite the hurdle. 

For years, Cox sat out because of a series of injuries from earlier in high school.

“My first injury was sophomore year against Keller Central,” Cox said. “And it has probably the biggest injury. I tore three tendons. Ever since then, I’ve never been a hundred percent back.”

Cox was reinjured after an unfortunate incident in the PALS program. A child jumped on his back, retearing the ACL after surgery.

“It was really stupid, because if it didn’t happen then it was bound to happen again I guess,” Cox said. 

According to Cox, he decided to play this season in spite of his injury because of an epiphany: it was his last chance to play varsity high school football, so it was now or never.

“I went back to the doctor and they said I’m predisposed to ACL tears,” Cox said. “My tibia is more shallow so it is causing my knee to slip a lot [yet] I [feel] a calling to go play football again, and chase down my dreams.”

College athletics is still the goal for Cox, and he is confident in his ability to overcome the injury. He also wants to join the Navy after college.

“Really, what an ACL does is it helps support your knee when you stop,” Cox said. “I just have to train my knee to function without one. As long as I prove that I can function without one, it shouldn’t affect [playing] too much.”

Ultimately, Cox’s teammates and coaches support his decision to be back on the field with them.

“The hardest part for me was going from being a starter on a top tier, 6A team to being on the sideline,” Cox said. “[Everyone] has been really supportive of the decision.”