Charlie Reilly is slowly, but surely recovering in the comfort of his own couch accompanied by his furry friend, Boo.
On August 31, Reilly, the starting quarterback, was injured earlyy in the first game of the season, ending all of his sophomore sport seasons.
The ball was snapped over his head in the 13 play, where he bent down to get it and ended up tearing his ACL and partially tearing his meniscus. Reilly will be out for 9-12 months, or when the doctor clears him.
“When I found out I couldn’t play sports all year I felt sick. I knew the football team needed me to play QB so that was really tough. I felt worse for Tate because I know how hard it is being a quarterback, especially being a freshman. But mostly my heart dropped for basketball. I take most of my pride in basketball and I spent so much time over the last summer dedicating myself to the game and getting better as a player. It’s tough that I’ll have to miss all 3 sports, but I know I’ll come back stronger.”
As for the rest of the team, Charlie knows they are struggling, but he sees the progress they have made without him, growing as a team and as people.
“It sucks for any team losing their starting quarterback, but we’ve bounced back from it really well and I like how the team has responded to the adversity and come together as one to take on the challenge.”
Tate Gilbertson, a freshmen, had to take on a unexpected huge roll for the Cotter football team this year. Tate was asked to play Cotter’s head quarterback for the remainder of the season, and tackled the opportunity with pride.
Though there is some pressure, Tate’s teammates are understanding when he makes mistakes, which helps relieve it. The football team motivate Tate to do his best and lift him up when he is down. Charlie is always there for him when he gets too worked up over a tough game.
As for next year, Tate hopes to keep his position, and possibly start if Charlie hasn’t recovered yet since he has a years experience under his belt. If not, Tate is happy playing whatever position Coach Haun needs him the most in.
“I would like to have a win in the season and I would like to throw three more or more touchdowns before the season ends.” Tate says in regards to his personal goal for the year. He also hopes that everyone playing running back or wide receiver/ tight end gets a touchdown or at least a good amount of yards in the end.
“Any time some suffers a significant injury, it is unfortunate. Charlie has remained positive and the team has been fully supportive of his efforts. That being said, injuries are a part of football and life. We can’t avoid participating in events because we are afraid of injuries. Charlie is still a part of our program, and I can’t wait to have him around interacting with his teammates.” Cotter coach Seth Haun stated.
There has been several other injuries within the team as well this year.
“The mentality there along with the quarterback position is “the next man up.” While the quarterback position is very important, no person is larger than the team. If there is an injury, someone else has the opportunity to step in and perform.”
Haun believes that Tate is doing an exceptional job playing head quarterback for the first time, with him being thrown into a big leadership roll.
“His growth over the last 4 weeks as a young man and football player have been wonderful to observe.”
Haun is thankful that Tate was brave enough to take on the roll and challenge, for it would have been easier for him to decline the offer.
“Tate is a good example for his teammates for them to see that he has taken this challenge head on and improve throughout this season,” Haun said.
“The goal every season is to win and compete; however, that is not the purpose of our program or any Cotter program. I want the boys to leave the season having grown as young men. They need to learn how to treat others and themselves with respect. They need to learn self-discipline, and they need to learn how to hold themselves accountable. We now incorporate a new component into our Saturday morning practices. We read chapters from the book Chop Wood, Carry Water and have discussions about its lessons. Along with the Saturday readings, we have had a couple “assignments” throughout the weeks to encourage the boys to look internally and challenge themselves to grow as young men. The purpose of our program is bigger than the game of football.”
This Friday, October 5, Cotter will go head to head with the Kingsland Knights. Both teams are 0-5, which is a good match-up, and Cotter is hoping to get their first win of the season.
“My hopes are that we can win the homecoming game. I really hope that we can rally as a group and take down Kingsland. The homecoming game has such an amazing atmosphere and our fans deserve a good game, and that’s what we’re going to give them. I also hope that the seniors can take memories with them because obviously the season hasn’t gone how we wanted, but there are still a ton of fun and unforgettable memories to be made. Through all the up and downs of the season I’m proud of how these group of boys responded to all the adversity and challenges that they’ve faced all season.” Charlie says.
Cotter vs. Kingsland, Friday, October 5, 7pm at WSU’s Altra Credit Union Field; be there or be square–Go Ramblers!