Vaught's Views: Greg Peck can play in pain

November 23, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

When Boyle County and Hopkinsville play here Friday in the Class AAA semifinals, no one can question the toughness of Boyle senior receiver-defensive back Greg Peck.

Maybe Hopkinsville quarterback Curtis Pulley will be the best athlete on the field. Maybe Boyle quarterback Brandon Smith will be the most productive player on the field. Maybe other players will be bigger, stronger and faster.

But no one will be tougher than Peck.

Don't believe me. Then trying naming me another football player who has played a game while in the process of passing a kidney stone. Yet that's what Peck did earlier this season when the Rebels beat Nelson County.

Peck figured to be one of Boyle's best players this year. However, he hurt his knee wrestling with a teammate in the offseason and got released to practice just five days before Boyle's season-opening game. The second game, he had severe cramps in his calf the third quarter.


He was healthy in game three when Boyle beat Danville, but then something he'll never forget happened.

"Around the end of the second quarter at Nelson County, I felt a pain. I couldn't concentrate. I had never felt anything like that," Peck said.

He looked for assistant coach Frank Crossman, his position coach on defense, when the pain hit.

"I said, 'I can't do this. I can't focus on the game because the pain down there is so bad," Peck said. "Luckily, it was right at the end of the second quarter."

He consulted with Dr. Shelby White, who was at the game, at halftime.

"But he really didn't know what was going on and I didn't, either," Peck said. "I had not had any pain or anything strange all week. I didn't know what was wrong."

How could he not know? Kidney stone pain is normally unbearable. But not for Peck. Still, he knew his teammates were wondering why he barely played in the third quarter.

What did he tell them was wrong?

"I just told them my stuff hurt. What else could I say?" Peck said. "They were like, 'My goodness.' They didn't know what to say, either."

Somehow, the pain got better. Or at least Peck thinks it did. He told the coaches he could play again. They wouldn't let him go both ways, but they did let him return on defense.

"I finished the game off fine, celebrated the win and went to the dressing room to get undressed like always," Peck said. "I thought everything was fine."

Hearing a "little ping"

Like a lot of players, he needed to go to the bathroom. That's when he heard a "little ping" on the metal urinal.

"I looked down and a little stone was going down the drain," Peck said. "There wasn't any blood or real pain. I just went outside and told everybody what had happened."

Perhaps it was his youthful exuberance. Perhaps it was his pain tolerance. Perhaps it was being too naive to know it had to hurt.

Whatever the reason, Peck said he had "absolutely no pain" after passing the stone.

"Friday night I was fine. Saturday I was fine. I had a normal weekend," Peck said.

When he was asked about going to the hospital for an X-ray, he said no thanks. About the only concession he's made to that night is making sure he drinks far more water than he had.

"I think I have followed that advice because I haven't cramped or had any more stones since then," Peck said.

Now he'll try to do his part Friday to get the Rebels back to a sixth straight state championship game. Hopkinsville's high-powered offense will test his defensive skills, but no one can doubt that he'll be tough enough to meet the challenge.

"I think winning the state championship last year will always be my best football memory, but I don't think I'll ever forget the game I passed a kidney stone, Peck said. "I will definitely remember it until I die. I will be telling my grandchildren about it."

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