Ringgold senior plays with reoccurring injury, inspires team to keep fighting
Ringgold senior Michael Layman has never played just one role in the football program.
Ringgold senior Michael Layman has never played just one role in the football program. Stepping up at free safety, back up running back, punter and holder for the Tigers this season, it's hard to find a time where the veteran isn't somewhere on the field. But ever since last summer, Michael thinks twice about his shoulder before putting on his uniform.
"I went up to the ball to intercept it and stuck my hand up and it just dislocated. It does that every so often if I don't have my brace on."
His shoulder has dislocated seven different times since his first incident, and each of those times his trainer has to pop his shoulder back in. While his brace helps keep his shoulder in place for the most part, every time he dislocates it again, Michael says it hurts even worse.
"I mean, when I go to tackle somebody I'm thinking twice about it, but you gotta do what you gotta do. It hurts, it hurts when I hit people but, I just got to push through it."
With the Tigers having more youth than experience on the gridiron this year, Coach Akins is counting on Michael to be a leader, but the senior has already helped inspire his teammates by just returning to practice.
"He's an incredibly remarkable kid who's been through a lot of adversity, yet he just keeps coming back and coming back which is what we are trying to teach about life" says Coach Akins. "You know there are so many paths to cross and so many adverse things that happen in your life and you got to step up and deal with those and he's done it as well as anybody."
Michael is also on the wrestling team at Ringgold high school, and once his senior wrestling season is over this winter, he plans on getting surgery on his shoulder.