GREENVILLE – If not for an injury to Greenville kicker/punter Caleb Wolfe the Yellow Jackets may have never needed overtime to defeat the Belding Redskins Friday night.
Wolfe, a junior, is also a star defensemen for the Greenville soccer team. During their soccer match early Friday afternoon Wolfe was injured while kicking the ball. His injury was expected to keep him out of the football game.
“That was a big blow. We did not have him available and I think that hurt,” Greenville coach Dave Moore said. “We ended up having to go for two (point conversion) and only made one. Really, it shouldn’t have gone into overtime because Caleb is pretty much automatic on extra points.”
Wolfe visited the doctor on Wednesday and could miss a significant portion of the season.
“I went to the orthopedic surgeon today and he said anywhere from two to six weeks,” Wolfe said of his return time. “Six being pretty conservative. He thinks I could be back by at least week four, but more than likely week five.”
The injury is a right strain of his hip flexor as it goes into the quadricep.
“I went to take a shot during our game and there was a popping sound and immediate pain,” Wolfe said.
Prior to the football game Wolfe iced his leg with Greenville trainer Jeff Day. Wolfe was the emergency kicker for the football game with Tyler Rasmussen handling kickoff duties.
“I didn’t even have my pads on in the first half,” Wolfe said. “One of the coaches asked me to put my pads on and by that time we were up by three touchdowns. Somehow it came down to a kick.”
The kick was a 26-yard field goal after Belding scored 21 unanswered points to tie the game at 40. Wolfe trotted out with under one minute remaining to give the Yellow Jackets a lead and possibly a victory.
“He felt like he had one kick in him. The injury proved to be too much,” Moore said. “He’s a pretty gutsy kid for saying and believing he could come in and do that. I give him a lot of credit for that. Now we have to let him heal.”
Wolfe missed the kick as he fell to the ground in pain.
“As soon as I pulled my leg back to kick it was terrible. I pulled back and just couldn’t take anymore,” Wolfe said. “I completely missed the ball. I don’t even recall hitting the ball to be honest. I thought I would have enough strength to, but didn’t.
Unfortunately, Wolfe feels he aggravated his injury even more. Looking back he would have passed on the kick and is now working to return to the field.
“I’ve been in Doc’s (Jeff Day) office icing and next week we start with heat,” Wolfe said. “We will work on stretching to keep the strength.”
The soccer team also has to make adjustments with Wolfe’s absence.
“We made some adjustments in the midfield line,” Wolfe said. “We have Jesse Hamman, who was a midfielder, now playing defense.”
Greenville has added another soccer player to the roster to fill in for Wolfe. Mitchell Shaw will now handle kickoffs and extra points for the Yellow Jackets.
“He (Shaw) should do good. He has a nice strong leg,” Wolfe said.