BURGAW, N.C. (WECT) - For Pender High School senior Raekwon Walker, playing football hasn’t come easy.
In the eight grade, Walker suffered a serious broken ankle. The pain reminds him of it every day.
“It’s pretty bad,” said Walker. “Every morning till now I wake up and it hurts and is stiff. But through the day it gets better.”
“(Walker) He doesn’t want to be treated any different because of the injury,” added Pender Coach Tim Smith. “So, some of the guys don’t know what he’s going through every day to be out here.”
Since the injury, Walker has undergone seven surgeries and battled several setbacks, but he wasn’t going to let anyone tell him he couldn’t play football again.
“It’s like a mindset so I push myself,” said Walker. “Because the doctors told me that I wouldn’t be able to play until my junior year in high school. And I was able to play my freshman year in high school. So, I pushed myself to be able to play.”
Raekwon gives credit to Patriots head coach Tim Smith for the reason he continues to play.
“He was the only one that gave me an opportunity to come out here and show my best,” said Walker. “When other coaches wouldn’t let me because of my ankle. So, I feel like I owe him a good thank you. It’s my passion, so I am going to continue my dream and do what I can to help us win.”
“So, I have tried my best and taken the proper steps to allow him to do whatever he can do,” added Smith. “But early on when you see a kid’s shoe full of blood, it makes you a little cautious of what he can do.”
Friday the Patriots (1-6) travel to battle Southwest Onslow (5-2).