Short makes long strides on field

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 11, 2010

Straughn's Chase Short (14) has come back from injury to play football in the playoffs this season. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

On Straughn’s second to last offensive possession against Daleville in the last game of the regular season on Oct. 29, Tigers sophomore Chase Short’s season almost came to an end.

Short was drug down by his face mask just short of a first down, where he lay immobilized on the ground, was placed on a stretcher and was carted off the field into an ambulance. He was taken to a nearby hospital in Dothan, and X-rays were negative. In a potential neck injury, X-rays are done to check for any trauma.

That Friday, he was back at school, walking around and worrying whether he would be able to play against UMS-Wright in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs.

Given everything that has happened to Short in the last two weeks, he was quick to point out that if it wasn’t for his teammates, he wouldn’t still be playing football.

“Honestly, I was more worried about my teammates and how they would be then I was about myself,” he said of the Daleville game. “I was more worried about us winning that game. It never set in until the game was over — and after they let me know that they won; I was laying there — that I could possibly never walk again.

“It was a scary time for us at that time,” he said. “If I hadn’t had the love for the game like I do, and didn’t have the teammates like I do to support me, then I’d never come back.”

Straughn beat Daleville 12-6 before last week’s 36-32 win over the Bulldogs, where Short prevented a late first half touchdown by UMS-Wright.

As of last Thursday, Short said he didn’t know if we was going to be able to play.

“I had to go to the doctor, and he told me I could, and said it was up to me and it’s something my parents and I had to talk about,” he said. “Whether I could play or not.”

Short said he talked it over with is parents, and made the decision to play.

“The coaches took a lot of concern into it, and made sure I had the proper gear where I wouldn’t get hurt,” he said.

With the added weight of his new protection, the 170-pound Short ran all the way back and stopped a UMS-Wright defender from scoring on a fumble by quarterback Josh Dewrell.

That night, SHS coach Trent Taylor said that play ended up being the big play of the game. The Tigers scored 16 unanswered points in the second half to beat the Bulldogs.

“The key play (last Friday night) was when we fumbled the ball, and going into the half, Chase Short caught that guy at the 5 so they only got 3 points instead of 6,” Taylor said.

This week, Short will try and help lead his team to a second-round victory over top-ranked Thomasville.

He said the keys this week rely on the defense.

“We’re just worried more about us than Thomasville,” Short said. “Practice has been going great for us this week. You can look at the seniors’ eyes, and everybody on the team can tell how focused everyone is.

“I think the biggest key for us is our defense,” he said. “If they play like they did the last four games of the regular season and our offense does like they did last week, then we’ll beat them.”

Short is the son of Michael and Sharron Short.