Jaylin Henderson: Playing through the pain

"I think the word that would come to mind when I think of Jaylin would be competitor," said head coach Aaron Green.

Jaylin Henderson led the Oak Ridge Wildcats in scoring last season. Now in his senior year, he's on track to do it again.

"He loves to win, which as a coach you enjoy coaching kids like that," said Green.

It was at the end of last season that Jaylin got some bad news.

"Really my heart dropped," said Henderson. "I thought my season, like being a high school athlete was done."

Jaylin noticed something was up with his knee around Thanksgiving last year, of course sitting on the bench and complaining about pain really isn't his thing.

"After our state tournament game in Murfreesboro against Southwind he went and got his knee checked and they finally did an MRI just to be safe," said Green.

Without knowing it, Henderson played most of his junior season with a torn ACL. Green says he really didn't notice a difference in his play.

"Every time after practice it would swell up and go back down," said Henderson. "So, I didn't think anything of it, always played games through it and iced it after the games."

Jaylin had surgery in April. Only two months after going under the knife, he was practicing football.

"In the summer I was ready to practice. The doctor told me I couldn't do anything with contact, but far as running full speed and cutting I was able to do."

Oak Ridge played Farragut in week one to start the season and Jaylin came in a quarterback.

"Cuts and stuff, it was a little bit slow, but once I got use to it I got back into the motion of things."

He finished the season with 1,952 yards of total offense and accounted for 26 touchdowns.

Now he's back on the hardwood.

"Just to think back to some of the plays he made with a torn ACL is really alarming and surprising," said Green. "He's catching lob dunks. I'm sure there were times last year where I told him to toughen up and put some dirt on it you know."


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