After a knee injury sidelined a Desert Lighting Team dependent half way through his high school senior year football season, hope of playing football at the next level seemed lost.
Tyler Wright, Cienega High School Bobcats defensive tackle, sustained a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the sixth game of his senior season.
“It was disappointing and very difficult for him because this was his senior year,” said Tyler’s mom, Maj. Shannen M. Wright, 355th Medical Operations Squadron women’s health nurse practitioner. “He was looking forward to this all four years of high school and he had to sit out the last few games of the season, which was hard for him to do.”
Tyler first went to an emergency room to be evaluated. He was referred to see an orthopedic doctor at the 355th Medical Group the next day where he received an MRI and was diagnosed with a torn ACL. After the diagnosis, he was referred to a sports medicine specialist off base, to surgically repair the torn ligament.
Although the injury seemed to take away his chance at playing college football, he had played convincingly enough in the first half of the season to still draw interest from a couple of schools.
One of those schools, Briar Cliff University, located in Sioux City, Iowa, was very persistent and patient in their pursuit of the Cienega stand-out.
That determination to have Tyler on their team eventually paid off when he signed a letter of intent to play football on scholarship for the BCU Chargers, and plans to major in Criminal Justice once enrolled.
“It is a great blessing for our family that Tyler has the opportunity to continue his education and play football at the next level,” said Maj. Wright.
Tyler found resilience by leaning on his faith and his family during his recovery.
“He is progressing well in his post-surgery rehabilitation and is on target to play once again this fall thanks in part to the wonderful medical care he received from the 355th Medical Group and civilian network partners,” said Maj. Wright.
Maj. Wright also competed at the collegiate level. She was recruited by the Air Force Academy to run cross country and track.
“I’m excited to see that he’s going to be able to participate in sports while attending college and I think that the benefits that I’ve received from competing in college will translate on to him,” said Wright. “I think he will learn a lot about self-discipline and hard work. He’ll be challenged, but it will help him learn how to get through other aspects of college. I’m anticipating him making the same kind of life-long friendships that I was able to.”