Three weeks after fracturing his arm, Park City QB Jack Skidmore relied on faith to get him healthy for the season-opener.
For Jack Skidmore, beginning his senior season as Park City High School’s starting quarterback with a win over rival Wasatch on Aug. 16 was all he’s wanted for a year. Ever since the Miners lost in a weather-shortened game last year to the Wasps, Skidmore has wanted nothing more than to begin the 2019 season with an avenging win.
“It’s not just that we lost, but the way we lost with the weather and the game being called even though we were driving to take the lead,” Skidmore said. “We never found out who the better team really was. … So with it being a rivalry game, this is all I’ve been looking forward to and I knew we’d be ready for it.”
But on Thursday, July 25 at Dozier Field, a mere three weeks before Park City was scheduled to play Wasatch on the same field, Skidmore’s dreams came crashing down.
Playing in the Park City Extreme Soccer Cup with the PC Soccer Club, Skidmore collided with an opponent in his first game of the tournament. After going to the doctor’s that night, it became known that he fractured his left, non-throwing arm in two spots.
“The doctor comes in and goes ‘whelp, it’s fractured,’” Skidmore said. “She kept talking, giving details, but at the point I just tuned it out because I already knew what to expect. … She told me I’d miss the first game of the year for sure, probably the second also, so I just didn’t know what to think, just so sad and crushed.”
For Skidmore and his parents, knowing what the Wasatch game meant to him, his teammates and the community, it was a devastating injury. Believing he’s out of the Wasatch game, Skidmore fell into a minor funk.
But rather than continuing to sulk, Skidmore and his family relied on their faith to get through the tough period.
Skidmore, who’s a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, read scriptures each day, particularly ones that described what he was going through and asking for a miracle to have him play.
“A lot of prayer, positive thinking really helped me get through it,” Skidmore said. “There’s a lot of stuff in scriptures and the book of Mormon that said God is the God of miracles. … I held on to a lot of that and just had faith.”
His faith allowed him to focus on his rehab, which he did every day. He visited teammate Andrew Pederson’s house to use the “Bemer,” a machine that electromagnetically promotes blood flow in the micro vessels of the body to aid in healing.
Despite the prayer and rehab twice a day, Skidmore’s participation was undetermined for the Wasatch game after initially being told he would be out for up to six weeks.
Everything changed when he got a fleeting moment of hope while attending church on Aug. 11, furthering his belief in faith.
“The orthopedic I was seeing is a member of my church and I had a chance to talk with him,” Skidmore said. “After church, he started to do a bunch of grip tests and motion tests and he thought I’d be able to get the cast off that week. … It was probably the best news I’ve heard the whole summer. I felt like I was floating.”
Rather than going to the doctor the following Monday of game week, Skidmore and his family elected to wait until Wednesday to go to the doctors for an X-ray and final decision.
“We easily could’ve gone Monday, but I wanted to give it as much time as possible so we waited until the last day I could get it checked out before I had to practice in order to play,” Skidmore said. “I practiced Monday and Tuesday, going through 7-on-7 stuff to stay fresh. … But more than anything, getting the mental reps in by helping Carson (Tabaracci, backup QB) get ready for the game in case I couldn’t play.”
After the X-ray, the doctor cleared Skidmore to play.
Skidmore would have to wear a brace for the game as a precaution since he was not fully healed. The brace hardly mattered because Skidmore was so ecstatic to get the chance to strap up against Wasatch that he couldn’t wait to tell head coach Josh Montzingo the good news.
“Knowing he needed a doctor’s note clearing me to play, I walked into his office right after the appointment and just kind of dangled the note in front of him with a big smile on my face,” Skidmore said. “I definitely had some fun with it, but he just shook his head and said ‘Good, let’s go to work.’”
And go to work is exactly what Skidmore did under the bright lights two nights later. He finished the game completing 11-of-15 passes for 208 yards and three touchdowns, adding another 29 yards rushing and a touchdown in leading the Miners to a 35-30 victory.
After the game, while standing on the field and watching his teammates and the fans celebrate the win, Skidmore couldn’t help but think back at what had occurred over the previous three weeks. He reflected on having his dream crushed before his eyes, the emotional and spiritual toll it took on him to stay positive and the physical journey to get healthy and play.
“Without a doubt, yes,” said Skidmore when asked if it was all worth it. “If not for my faith, family and teammates, this wouldn’t have happened. It’s a big faith builder.”
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