Beating the odds to get back on the mat

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Posted: Friday, June 7, 2019 4:44 pm

Some people might have sat up, looked at that broken leg and laid right back down.

It was bent sideways at a 90 degree angle, and the toes were pointing straight up. Football injuries can be pretty gruesome.

Skyler Swatek sat up, looked at his broken right leg and asked whether he’d be back in time for wrestling.

No one thought he could recover that fast. He had two surgeries, one the night of the injury, Oct. 12, to straighten his leg and another the next morning to insert a rod. Elk Point-Jefferson’s athletic trainer, Jonathan Hislop, talked to Swatek’s doctor about a recovery time table. They both felt that because wrestling is such an intense sport, Swatek should plan on sitting out the entire season.

That wasn’t good enough for Swatek, a sophomore. He was disappointed with his freshman wrestling season, having set a goal of placing at the state meet. He missed that mark, and the thought of having to wait until he was a junior to get to state was intolerable. He refused to accept the four-to-eight-month timeline for full recovery set by his doctor.

He took off the two weeks absolutely required. He accepted using crutches and a scooter to get around. But he refused to sit and lose all the conditioning he’d worked so hard for.

See full story in this week’s Leader-Courier.