BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Senior Noah Nicklin can’t wait to get back on the football field to play with his Clarkston Varsity Football teammates and for the community.
Nicklin fractured his fibula and separated his ankle during the Wolves’ 41-7 loss to Romeo in the last game of the season on Nov. 11, 2016.
“It was a normal play,” recounted Nicklin, offensive line left tackle. “I was blocking my guy down the field and our quarterback ran behind me with the ball. A guy from Romeo dove for his feet, missed him and landed in the back of my leg. Crazy…crazy play.”
He had five surgeries in eight days including having surgery complication of compartment syndrome. The internal swelling cut off circulation and threatened his leg.
He missed a month of school and went back for half days to finish the first semester. Throughout it all he maintained his standing on the honor roll.
Nicklin was cleared for physical therapy 6-7 months ago and shared he stays consistent with it, going four days a week, sometimes five.
“We definitely had to pack in a lot of therapy to get to the point I wanted to be,” he said, adding throughout last week’s football camp he participated in the drills and took it easy. “Just working hard to stay healthy, do the right things and not come back too early. I definitely push it to where I can. For the most part I am 100 percent ready to go.”
“He has had such an amazing attitude and outlook,” shared parents, Tom and Karen. “He has been so committed to his rehab and recovery. He is a captain this year and is determined the team has such great potential. We are so grateful to the community. They have been so supportive through it all.”
Noah added his drive during physical therapy was to get back to his brothers on the team.
“Football is really my life – that’s what I had to do,” he smiled. “There was really no option. Take off, get it done so I could go back.”
Another motivating drive for him during recovery and physical therapy was the Clarkston community.
“Thank you to everyone,” Noah smiled. “I’ve had constant support from everyone either helping me at home, having welcome signs when I came home from the hospital.I can’t even explain. Everyone’s support has been amazing. The constant support and everything added to my drive to be back. It’s really fed the machine on wanting to get back for everyone and show everyone what I can do.”
He added a special thanks to head coach Kurt Richardson, all the coaching staff, Clarkston High School Principal Gary Kaul, high school counselors and family.
“We give much gratitude to Health Quest Clarkston, especially his Physical Therapist Ashley Dungan, and his trainer Frank Cona,” Karen said, adding Clarkston Athletic Director Jeff Kosin and Clarkston Community Schools Superintendent Rod Rock. “All of coaches, but, especially KR who never left his side. It takes a village and we have a great one.”
Noah finished his junior season receiving honors as All-State Honorable Mention, 1st Team All County Dream Team, 1st Team All Conference, 1st Team All-League OAA Red, Detroit Free Press 2nd Team All-North, Adidas Sound Mind, Sound Body Dream Team Finalist and Clarkston HOG Lineman of the Year.
His goal for his senior year is to remain healthy and be there for his team.
“The guys around me have been working hard for me to get to where we are,” Noah shared. “We have the same one goal – to be the last one standing.”
Join Noah and the Wolves when they open the season in Battle of the Big House II when they host Lapeer at University of Michigan, at 7 p.m., Aug. 25.
Tickets are now on sale for $10 each at the Clarkston High School Athletic Office Monday to Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Tickets and Game Day T-shirts can also be purchased at www.clarkstonfootball.com.
The team hosts Bloomfield Hills Blackhawks for their annual Football for a Cure on Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m.. Each player will wear a memorial jersey, displaying names of loved ones affected by cancer. Orders must be received by Aug. 14. Call 248-922-6606.