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Beyond the Field

Jordan Travis, Grady Brown and Brinkley Snow Bounce back from Season-Ending Injuries

Photo by Brooke Nohle/Maclay Andalusian

After three years of waiting for their turn, seniors become the leaders of the team. Seniors are the captains of the team, motivating everyone and pushing the team to the max. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors look up to seniors and hope to emulate them in the future. Seniors teach and push their teammates during practice, workouts and games. They act as coaches and teammates, driving everyone to the best versions of themselves. 

Seniors lead on and off the field. They hold their teammates accountable and responsible. Seniors set an example in the classroom, treat their peers with respect and are role models for underclassmen.

On the field or court, seniors give 110% effort. They never know when they may play their last game of their life. Injuries are devastating and can take away everything from the ability to walk to never playing again. Injuries are the worst part of sports. However, when a freshman, sophomore or junior becomes severely injured, they always have next year. Seniors don’t have next year; this year is their last year. An injury in senior year is one of the most difficult challenges in one’s life. They won’t be able to play the sport they love ever again.

Even though they are unable to play, seniors can still have a major contribution to their team. From coaching to motivating, seniors are mentors, injured or not. They pick up their teammates’ heads when they are down and teach their teammates plays for different situations. Seniors play just as big of a role on the team injured as they do when not injured.

On Nov. 18, 2023, star Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis went down with a gruesome ankle injury. Coaches, teammates and doctors quickly rushed the field to check on Travis. Travis was immediately sent to the hospital where he was ruled out for the rest of the season. Travis is a senior so this decision effectively ends his collegiate career.  However, individual setbacks aside, he stepped up and proved to his team why he was captain.   Travis still attended practice the next week, supporting his teammates and instructing the new starting quarterback Tate Rodemaker. Travis was on the sideline for the game against Florida supporting his team. While Travis’ season on the field may be over, he still finds ways to contribute. From teaching to inspiring, Travis shows the true character of a senior.

Just as Travis’ injury ended his collegiate career, Maclay seniors Grady Brown and Brinkley Snow’s careers ended in devastating fashion. During spring practice in May, Brown collapsed to the ground with a non-contact injury. A couple days later his MRI came back with a complete torn ACL. Brown would be sidelined the rest of the football season. Four months later, Snow fractured his wrist during a game against FAMU DRS. Both Brown and Snow were senior captains who were unable to help the team on the field. However, they still made an impact from the sidelines as they motivated their teammates, coached during practice and led by example off the field.

“I was able to keep helping people, giving some coaching points,” Snow said. “I was still part of the team. I was still there at practice every day.”

While Snow was unable to physically play, he was always a mentor for the football team. He never missed a practice or game; he never put his head down, and he never had a bad attitude. Snow’s positive mindset carried all throughout the season.

“Before my injury I was a leader out there on the field leading by example, and then after I had to be a more vocal leader and make sure everyone was staying tight,” Snow said.

Unlike Snow, Brown was unable to play in any game this year as a torn ACL takes about six to nine months to heal. However, Brown did not quit on the football team but became a role model and one of the most important pieces to the team. His knowledge of the game and upbeat attitude led Brown to be more than just an injured player. Brown called plays for junior varsity and used his football knowledge to help coach the JV players. He pushed every one of his teammates and became one of the most inspirational players ever for the Maclay Football Program.

“Before my injury I felt like I did a good job leading through my actions and how I  played on the field, but after I had to be more vocal since I couldn’t use my actions,” Brown said. “I had to focus more on lifting people up and encouraging them and trying to hold them to a certain standard.”

While Jordan Travis, Snow and Brown’s seasons on the field may have come to an abrupt end, their leadership qualities shined on the sideline and with their teammates. Their selfless attitude played a vital role with the team through their positive outlook and willingness to assist their teammates. Travis, Snow and Brown demonstrated qualities that characterize true senior captains.


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Andy Poll

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