Ian Loughry glad he got second chance to help Rebels

November 25, 2003|JILL ERWIN

Ian Loughry didn't think he'd be here.

The Boyle County senior broke three bones in his leg and tore a ligament in his knee in the second game this season and thought his football career might be over.

"I had no clue," Loughry said. "I knew there was a chance, if I had torn my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), that I'd have been out for the whole season. I was praying for it not to be like that.

"Before I got the X-rays and the MRI, I didn't think I'd ever get to play football again."

Instead, Loughry is again starting for the Rebels after missing just five games. He will be in the lineup Friday when Boyle plays at Paducah Tilghman in the Class AAA state semifinals. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.


Loughry broke his fibula, fractured his tibia and femur, and tore the lateral cruciate ligament in his right leg on a pass from quarterback Brandon Smith in Boyle's game against Henry Clay.

"Brandon threw me a pass, I jumped up, caught it, and when I came down, my knee went too far and my leg just bent the wrong way," Loughry said.

The initial report was that he'd be out for the season. But Loughry wasn't ready to accept that, and instead dedicated himself to rehabilitating the injury.

Since lifting weights with his injured leg was strictly off-limits, Loughry said he spent the majority of his time working on other parts of his body.

"I worked my upper body and my left leg a lot," Loughry said. "When I could bear weight on my right leg that I broke, I just started slowly catching up. I had a lot of support from my family and all the Boyle fans. I just kept rehabilitating really, really hard and I didn't give up.

"I didn't want to go out in my senior year with an injury. I wanted to go out on top. I knew I wanted to get back and help my team go for another state championship, so I worked real hard and finally got back."

Loughry dressed for Boyle's first matchup with Pulaski County on Oct. 10, but did not play. Watching that game, how close it was - Boyle won 32-27 - made Loughry anxious to face the Maroons again.

He got that wish last Friday, and made the most of it. Loughry caught a touchdown pass as Boyle dominated Pulaski 63-14 in the regional championship game.

"It was great," Loughry said. "I was happy we got to play them again because I wanted to play them really bad the first time. I'm glad we got to play them again to show them what the real Boyle County can do."

Boyle coach Chuck Smith is just glad to be getting the real Loughry back. Smith said Loughry is starting to get back in the flow of things after catching up from his inaction.

"He's starting to get his timing back now," Smith said. "The first couple of weeks he was slow as far as timing goes. But his conditioning and his timing are coming back at a good time."

Boyle will need all the healthy, fast bodies it can find to play Tilghman, the preseason favorite to win the Class AAA crown. Loughry, who also starts at safety, said it's a game he's looking forward to, and the Rebels aren't conceding anything. "We're determined to do the best we can," Loughry said. "We're not going to stop at anything to get our goal."

Smith knows Loughry is a key part of that goal, and the Boyle coach said Loughry's work ethic in returning to the Rebels has shown how tough a player he is.

"I never thought for a second he was coming back," Smith said. "I thought he was done. I think everybody did. That just goes to show you what kind of kid he is.

"When he went down, it really hurt him bad emotionally. But he was determined, and this is one of those things you write a movie about."

Tickets are on sale

Tickets for Friday's game will be on sale at the Boyle County High School office from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. Cost is $5 per ticket.

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