Despite injury, Hourel remained leader on team

Published 4:21 pm Thursday, December 1, 2016

The season didn’t pan out the way Andalusia’s Jamal Hourel would have liked after an early season injury, but that didn’t stop the senior running back from continuing his role as a team leader.

“Obviously, after the year he had as junior, this year wasn’t what he wanted,” Andalusia head coach Trent Taylor said. “It’s tough to deal with missing a lot of time due to injury at any age, but especially as a senior it can be really hard to deal with. He tried to come back for the Opp game, but he just couldn’t do it. I told him after that game that we were going to shut him down until the playoffs and he just said, ‘Yes sir,’ and handled it like a champ. After that he stayed around the team and provided encouragement for the rest of the guys.”

As a junior, Hourel led the state with 2,396 rushing yards, but an injury in the second game of his senior year caused him to miss a significant partt of the season.

“It hurt for real,” Hourel said. “Especially for it to happen my senior year. It was hard watching them from the sideline and wishing I could be in there with them, but I had to keep them motivated.”

Hourel said that while on the inside he was hurting, he didn’t really let it show to his teammates.

“I didn’t want to be out there just watching them, I wanted to be on the field with them,” Hourel said. “I knew that I couldn’t let them see I was hurting, and that I had to be out there cheering them on and motivating them to be there best.”

Coming back from the injury also proved to be a challenge, but it would also be another that he overcame.

“Coming back, I knew it was going to be a slow start,” Hourel said. “Coach told me to just go full speed and don’t think about the injury, but that was hard to do and I was still thinking about it. It was really kind of scary, but I got over it.”

Hourel has received several offers to play at the next level, and will weigh his options before making a choice.

“Right now, I’m just talking with all of the schools and making sure that I still have offers,” Hourel said. “I’m not sure where I will go, but I just hope to land at a D1 college where I can get an education and continue to play the game I love. College is going to be an exciting and fun experience, but I’m going to miss these guys I grew up playing with.”

Those former high school teammates will be his motivation, Hourel said.

“They are going to be my motivation in college,” Hourel said. “I’m going to play for those guys and this moment here.”