Highlands playmaker Brock White on road to recovery from knee injury

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Wednesday, July 21, 2021 | 10:15 AM


Brock White might have to wait a few games to start his 2021 football season.

The standout rising senior running back and linebacker at Highlands is in the recovery process after surgery earlier this month to repair an MCL tear suffered at a seven-on-seven event in late May at Valley High School.

The injury occurred when White, playing for PA Nike Elite, went up for a ball in the end zone. He came down with the ball for a touchdown, but when his leg touched down, the defender on the play collided with White’s knee.

“It was pretty frustrating,” White said as he recalled the bittersweet play. “I knew after I did it that I tore something, but I was really hoping right after it happened that I just sprained it. I was just hoping it wasn’t too bad, like an ACL. That would’ve really messed up my senior season.”

White said now that the surgery has come and gone — he also had repair work done on a meniscus injury from his freshman year — he is focused on getting back to playing shape and joining his Golden Rams teammates in what they hope is a run to a spot in the WPIAL Class 4A playoffs.

White said with the start of physical therapy, his doctors gave him a recovery prognosis of six to eight weeks.

“It all depends on how the physical therapy goes,” he said with the hopes that he could return around Week 3 of the season.

Highlands finished the 2020 season 4-3 overall and in the Greater Allegheny Conference (fourth place). It just missed the eight-team Class 4A tournament.

The Golden Rams again will do battle in league play with Armstrong, Greensburg Salem, Hampton, Indiana, Knoch, Mars and Plum.

White earned Valley News Dispatch first-team all-star honors last year as a running and pass-catching threat. He carried the ball 141 times for 654 yards and seven touchdowns and added 13 receptions for 179 yards and six scores.

Defensively, he made 36 tackles, recorded four sacks and picked off a pass.

The 2020 results followed a sophomore campaign in which he led the Highlands rushing attack with 177 carries for 809 yards and four touchdowns and added three catches for 69 yards. He also had 49 tackles and two interceptions.

“Obviously, an injury is one of the last things you want to hear as a coach,” Highlands coach Dom Girardi said.

“I feel bad for Brock because there are only so many opportunities to play the game. Any time away from the game like that can be tough. Brock is an extremely hard worker and very dedicated to the program. He wants to work to be the best student-athlete he can be. Like everyone else, I am hoping he can make a quick recovery and doesn’t miss too many opportunities during the season.”

The knee injury suffered in preseason camp as a freshman sidelined White for most of the 2018 season. He was able to come back and play in the final two games.

“The kid has proven that he can take a strong work ethic into the rehab and do what he needs to do to get better,” Girardi said.

White said it’s been tough not being on the field with his teammates working to get ready for the season.

“I just want to be there to support my teammates,” said White, who kept a close watch on his team’s play at last week’s seven-on-seven event at Freeport High School. “I want to help coach them up and do whatever I can.”

White said the support from the coaches and his teammates has been great.

“They have been keeping in touch and seeing if I need anything,” White said. “They are all encouraging me to work hard and get back on the field as fast as possible.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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