By Mickey Winfield: PNT Staff Writer
Portales Ram senior running back Eric Segovia remembers it clearly, the play that could have ended his high school football career.
It could have, but it didn’t.
“It was the worst pain in my life, when it happened, I knew I was done (for the season),” Segovia said.
Early in the first quarter of the Rams district opener last season against Lovington, Segovia was sent in on routine punt coverage.
“I was a gunner on that play, the ball carrier moved to the left, and when I went to cut to the left I got blindsided at the same time, and buckled my knee,” Segovia said. “I got hit on the shoulder, when I planted to the right, it just kind of snapped my right knee at the same time.”
Segovia tore his anterior cruciate ligament, his medial collateral ligament, his lateral meniscus, and his medial meniscus. His right knee was destroyed.
Doctor Barnhill out of Amarillo performed the surgery in November. Scar tissue was cleared, his meniscus was repaired, and he had a new ACL put in, using his patellar tendon as a graft.
Then began the long rehabilitation process, starting in December, and lasting through the spring.
“I did the rehab here at the hospital,” Segovia said. “We gradually did walking, then speed walking, and finally sprints.”
First year Portales head football coach Andy Correll is well suited to help his senior runner his first year back after this major injury.
“I tore my ACL back in high school as well,” Correll said. “It’s about confidence, its trusting that knee and most of the time the (injured) knee is stronger than the other knee.”
Since the injury, Segovia said he’s had to change his running style.
“Last year I could cut a little bit more, and now I’m just trying to run and get up field and, like coach said, look for the green grass and go.”
That’s exactly what Segovia’s done, and he said when he’s in the game, he doesn’t let the injury affect him.
“I don’t think about (the knee) at all, I’ve had a couple of times where I got hit and I know the brace saved me, but I really try not to think about it because I don’t want anything to slow me down.”
The Las Vegas-Robertson Cardinals or the Raton Tigers haven’t been able to slow him down either. So far this season, in just two games, Segovia has run for nearly 200 yards, including 124 yards and a score Friday night at Raton, and he accounts for a big part of the Rams offense, both on the ground, and as a receiver out of the backfield.
“As far as what he’s done and how he’s progressed, I think he’s doing great,” Correll said. “It’s just been a confidence thing, trusting it, and believing that he’s going to be in good shape.”