When Molalla senior Mont Child felt his shoulder go during the Indians' football game at Gladstone last year, his thoughts immediately went to track season.
Child is a returning state champion in the shot put for Molalla, having blown away the next-best finisher by more than three feet last season at Hayward Field.
And while Child is no doubt a monster on the football field, his first passion is throwing.
So when he was tackled from behind and reflexively put out his elbow to brace his fall with his momentum moving forward and thus forcing all his and the defender's weight onto his right shoulder, he was worried.
"The next thing that came to my mind after it happened was 'Oh no, track season,'" Child said.
Child ended up having to endure a Bankart repair surgery for his throwing shoulder; it's a procedure that addresses a Bankart lesion, in which the anterior labrum of the shoulder is injured due to anterior shoulder dislocation. Child's shoulder dislocated when he put out his elbow to brace his fall, and when that happened, a slight bone chip also appeared as his shoulder joint slid out of its socket.
Child had surgery at the end of October 2016 at the Providence Milwaukie Hospital, and began rehab in December through the end of January. He's now fully rehabbed and able to throw freely.
And during the rehab process, he only had one thought on his mind: defending his state title.
"The state title definitely; junior year winning state and then coming back senior year and not winning state, that's kind of my fear is not being able to come back and defend it," Child said.
Child said he's feeling confident in his shoulder and he's happy with his performance so far as the first meet approaches on March 23. In fact, Child is already throwing 49s in practice, just a few feet off his winning mark from last season. He said his expectation for this season is to repeat as state champion in the shot put.
Unfortunately, Child can't throw the javelin this season as the large motion is too much for his shoulder to handle, but he will throw the discus again – he scratched out at state last season, but threw a 146-00 to win the Tri-Valley title, which would have placed him fourth in the finals.
Child has decided on Western Oregon University next year as he wishes to study criminal justice and become a police officer. He said he loves the campus and the small class sizes that WOU offers in addition to its reputable criminal justice program.
Child has had official recruiting trips and visited with both the football and track teams, though he hasn't yet chosen whether he'll play football, track, or both.
Child said the coaches have told him he has a spot on the team, but he isn't positive if he'll be playing football yet.
Catch Child at Molalla's first track meet of the season at home on March 23 at 3:30 p.m. for the Midvalley Matchup.
Sports Reporter/News Contributor
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