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Round of a’Clause’ for injured NC lineman

Clausen+relies+on+two+crutches+to+support+his+braced+right+leg+on+the+way+to+his+next+class.+%E2%80%9CThe+brace+and+crutches+are+irritating%2C+but+you+learn+to+get+used+to+them+really+quickly+because+without+them%2C+you+can%E2%80%99t+do+anything%2C+not+even+walk.+The+crutches+were+the+hardest+thing+to+get+used+to+though+%5Bmore+so+than+the+brace%5D%2C%E2%80%9D+Clausen+said.+
Clausen relies on two crutches to support his braced right leg on the way to his next class. “The brace and crutches are irritating, but you learn to get used to them really quickly because without them, you can’t do anything, not even walk. The crutches were the hardest thing to get used to though [more so than the brace],” Clausen said.

Clausen relies on two crutches to support his braced right leg on the way to his next class. “The brace and crutches are irritating, but you learn to get used to them really quickly because without them, you can’t do anything, not even walk. The crutches were the hardest thing to get used to though [more so than the brace],” Clausen said.

Sky Vinson

Sky Vinson

Clausen relies on two crutches to support his braced right leg on the way to his next class. “The brace and crutches are irritating, but you learn to get used to them really quickly because without them, you can’t do anything, not even walk. The crutches were the hardest thing to get used to though [more so than the brace],” Clausen said.

Sky Vinson, Reporter, Photographer

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The average NC football player experiences fun, long lasting memories and quality time with friends and teammates. Unfortunately, right now, senior Alex Clausen cannot relate. Clausen, left tackle #61 for the varsity Warriors, started playing football in seventh grade, however, he currently remains on the bench during his final year of high school-and football-with a devastating ACL injury.

“I felt sad when I found out I needed surgery because I knew that football was probably over for me. As time went on I just embraced it and was ready for the surgery because I realized taking care of my body is more important than playing football and hurting it even more,” Clausen said.

During football conditioning his freshman year, he accidentally dropped a 135 pound weight on his leg during a routine military-press lift. The injury caused a limb-threatening surgery to remove a portion of his leg. Suffering smaller, short-term injuries, Clausen experienced pain again shortly before tearing his ACL when he damaged his ankle in a football cleat accident.

After making a full recovery from his thigh injury, he played continuously up until injuring his ankle during his junior year.

Courtesy of Varsity Views
Senior lineman Alex Clausen (#61) gives a high-five to fellow teammate, running back Christian Singleton (#15). The teammates congratulate each other during a home game against McEachern.

Clausen suffered through the healing process for four weeks, eventually fully recovering and enabling him to play for one week before he completely tore his ACL ligament and his meniscus.

Clausen can call this torn ACL and meniscus his current and most recent injury, and as of September 2017, underwent successful repair surgery.

“After the surgery was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. But I do feel like the surgery was successful, especially seeing the improvements on my knee everyday,” Clausen said.

Sky Vinson
Clausen relies on a leg brace and crutches to get around the school and the community. Stitches exposed, he shows the outcome of such invasive leg surgery. Clausen stands optimistic, hoping for a full recovery.

Clausen knows the lengthy and sore road to recovery all too well, but certainly does not place all of his eggs in the football basket. Clausen currently holds a 3.70 cumulative GPA and participates in extra-curriculars such as FCA, Table Tennis Club, and his church, Kennesaw United Methodist (KUMC), where he credits his veteran hours as a missionary as his greatest accomplishment of life thus far.

At KUMC, Clausen also serves as one of only two interns under their youth internship program.

“Alex is super nice and always there when you need him,” fellow intern and NC junior Nicole DeRosa said.

Immediately after graduating high school, Clausen plans to attend an in-state college, more specifically Kennesaw State or Reinhardt University, to obtain a degree in Criminal Justice. After obtaining his degree, he will attend the Georgia Police Academy and work to become a Georgia police officer, following in his father’s footsteps.

Despite the fact that he lives with his father, his family of five, and leans on his closest friends for support, Alex recognizes his greatest role model as his grandfather on his mother’s side.

“He’s someone who knows the value of a dollar and knows how to work hard,” Clausen said.

He credits his grandfather for teaching him how to work hard and teaching him many of the values that he now knows.  Prior to his most recent ACL injury, Clausen believed that his path would carve a post-high school future in football, however, he can most likely eliminate the option completely due to his injuries.

Courtesy of Varsity Views
Clausen (#61) blocks a Campbell lineman at the start of a play. Fellow players on the sidelines observe Clausen and the NC junior varsity quarterback (#26).

 

“I saw a future in football after freshman year, and then I dropped the weight on my leg and then my hope for it kinda started to die,” Clausen said.

Despite hopes for the future, he never focused too much on just reaching the next level. He wanted to play for the enjoyment and the time with his closest friends and teammates.

“I really never thought about that. I just played football for the fun of it and for the people in it. I just played to have fun,” Clausen said.

In the end, whether he takes the route of criminal justice or football, Clausen maintains a plan and possesses the dedication and relentlessness to back up his choice.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Round of a’Clause’ for injured NC lineman”

  1. Kristi Vinson on September 21st, 2017 1:34 PM

    Great article on Alex. I admire his resilience despite his circumstances. No doubt he has the spirit and determination to do great things. Keep up the good work Alex.

     

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Round of a’Clause’ for injured NC lineman