Defensive Player of the Year: Grizzlies’ Weaver battles through injuries
by Chris Byess
cbyess@cherokeetribune.com
December 23, 2012 01:12 AM | 2227 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — Injuries threatened to derail the latter half of Austin Weaver’s senior season, but it didn’t stop the Creekview defensive end from finishing the year as one of the best defensive players in the county.

Totals of 90 total tackles, 13 sacks and 28 tackles for a loss are enough to impress any anyone, but the fact that he achieved such numbers in only nine games, while not at his physical peak, was enough to see him be the 2012 Cherokee Tribune Football Defensive Player of the Year.

“It is definitely an honor to receive the award,” said Weaver, who averaged 10 tackles a game. “Out of all the kids that could have gotten it, I never thought that it would be me. I’m very honored and very happy to be recognized as a good player of the game.”

Weaver found himself sidelined before the season officially started as he tore a bicep just before Creekview’s scrimmage against Gainesville.

After recovering from that injury, Weaver went on to have four strong performances in a row, but his run of good health wouldn’t last long. He tore a ligament in his shoulder against archrival Sequoyah in the fifth game of the season.

That injury forced Weaver to miss the next two games, and even after he returned against Forsyth Central, Weaver’s shoulder affected him for the rest of the season.

“After I hurt my shoulder, every game, it would affect me,” he said. “I just had to play through it.”

Despite playing two fewer games than many of his teammates, Weaver was still one of the team’s leaders in tackles and sacks.

Weaver was also essential in helping Creekview allow only 17 points a game — a Region 7AAAAA low.

Rather than take the credit for himself, Weaver was quick to thank defensive line coach Jeff Nelson for helping him to get back out on the field and to play his best.

“Coach Nelson helped me through all of my injuries and made me get back into the game,” Weaver said. “He told me what I needed to know and kept me pumped.”

Though Weaver was disappointed that he wasn’t able to go farther into the playoffs due to Creekview’s first-round exit, he was more than satisfied with his year.

“I don’t think I left any regrets on the field,” he said. “I did what I could for my team and put it all out there. I am very proud of what the team did. I think we definitely had a successful season for my senior year.”

After graduating from Creekview, Weaver hopes to go on fulfill a childhood dream of playing football at the collegiate level.
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