Springdale quarterback Ausk returns from collarbone injury bigger and better
Sunday, May 10, 2020 | 3:18 PM
Legend Ausk was excited about his sophomore year on the football field.
The young Springdale quarterback put in a lot of time and effort during the offseason to make sure when the lights turned on at Veterans Memorial Field on Friday nights in 2019, he was the one leading the Dynamos to victories. And, for the most part, it worked out that way.
Ausk won the position out of camp and led the Dynamos to victories in the first two weeks, including a fourth-quarter comeback win over Class 3A Deer Lakes in the opener. The 6-foot-1, 160-pounder only passed for only 45 yards that game, but his late 27-yard touchdown pass to Demitri Fritch helped the Dynamos pull ahead late.
But, in the third game, a Sept. 6 matchup with Monessen, Ausk’s sophomore season came to a screeching halt.
“I was going up the right side on a run, and there was a pretty large defensive end on the other side coming towards me,” Ausk said. “He tackled my backside, me not knowing, and I landed horizontally on my shoulder and everything just compressed.”
The final prognosis was a broken collarbone, which usually has a recovery time of about six to eight weeks. About a month after the injury, it was determined Ausk wouldn’t need surgery, and he started rehab.
After about four months of rehab, during which he would do a variety of calisthenics, Ausk said he started to regain his strength surprisingly quickly. Before he knew it, he was throwing again and is starting to feel better than ever.
“I’m actually back up to a higher bench press than I was at before the injury, and I’m already back to throwing as far as I was last year, if not further,” Ausk said. “It was a slow-but-sure recovery. Now I’m back and better than what I was.”
Although his recovery was a good one, Ausk admitted it wasn’t easy. He missed out on a year that was supposed to be big for his development as a quarterback. But he said learned a lot.
“It definitely took a toll on my emotions, but it definitely taught me a lot as well,” Ausk said. “Not only for football, but for everything in life. You can’t take anything for granted. If you have something you love, you don’t want to take it for nothing because it could end really quickly.
“It also taught me a lot about myself and my team. Knowing that there were kids that were able to step up, play positions they didn’t play before, and they were able to do a lot of stuff without me.”
The Dynamos won their first four games last season, and although they missed the playoffs, the Dynamos finished with an overall record of 6-4.
Ausk hasn’t let his down time go to waste. While he couldn’t actively participate, he used the time to sharpen the mental aspects of his game. He started studying his opponents and defenses and also took a look at his teammates, which he believes will help for his junior season.
“I don’t think I was doing enough while I was playing quarterback because I was focusing more on myself and how I was playing,” Ausk said. “But now I’m focusing on my teammates, their strengths and weaknesses and how to make them better. So I do think I was able to get a lot out of not being able to play last season.”
Now, he is ready to put it all together in the fall.
“It is really exciting,” he said, “and I’m really looking forward to next year.”
Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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