HANOVERTON – Ohio (WKBN) – Every player has some sort of adversity during a football season, but for United Local’s senior Colton Bowen the past year has been filled with bad breaks, quite literally. The Eagles fullback – linebacker not only broke his leg in the first game last year, but he also suffered a broken bone in his wrist during the past winter.
“Great kid, hard worker,” Eagles coach Michael Demster remarked. “He’s had a rough year. I tell him all the time that he has a string of good luck coming. With two broken bones last year, it was a lot for him mentally. But I think it has made him stronger in the long run. To be able to persevere through those two injuries and get back (to playing).”
“I was extremely fortunate that I broke them in my junior year and had another year to be able to come back,” Colton commented. “I just savor every time I take a step onto the football field. You just don’t take it for granted.”
Colton, the son of Travis and Jeanette Bowen never wavered in their support to get him back on the football field this fall. In addition, he has a sister Rachael who is a sophomore volleyball player for the Eagles and has supported him throughout the long recovery process that he has gone through.
“They were right with me the whole way,” Colton said. “I can’t thank them enough for that. They helped me a lot. I’m extremely fortunate for my whole family, that’s for sure.”
The first tragedy came late in the 2015 season opener against Malvern, a game the Eagles would win 30-0. Just before coach Demster inserted the second string players in the fourth quarter, Bowen broke his fibula.
“That night I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what. I tried to fight it for two days, but Sunday I ended up saying I can’t do this anymore and went to the hospital,” Colton explained. “They thought it was a deep bruise and I got my hopes up. Then they came back and said that I broke it. So I was pretty emotional, but I couldn’t do anything about it so I just took it and rolled with it.”
Colton talked about the anguish of having to watch his team play the rest of the season without him, “It was extremely hard. For those who say I wish I could take a break and just watch practice, then you have to do that, it’s terrible, it’s devastating. You feel helpless just watching your team.”
Then to add insult to injury, just as Colton had rehabilitated his leg, he would suffer a second set back during the off-season by breaking a bone in his wrist. This time it was an accident while power cleaning.
“I was really scared to be honest with you,” Colton admitted. “The doctor said it was really bad and that she didn’t know about this season, so I was really nervous about that. But then I ended up healing really fast, faster than most do from that kind of break. I was fortunate and excited to be out here and to play. It’s been too long.”
“Kids look up to him, he is great with his leadership,” coach Demster added. “He leads by example, but he is also very vocal. That’s what you want from your seniors.”
Colton is very excited for the season and feels that the Eagles are playing more as a team this year as opposed to last season. He also felt that their communication has improved and that they are having more fun. With the adversity Colton has faced in the past year, having a chance to enjoy a healthy senior season on the football field will be something he will savor.