Warren JFK’s Williamson out for season with broken leg

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Warren JFK’s Williamson out for season with broken leg

By Steve Ruman



It was just before 7 o’clock Friday evening, and Warren John F. Kennedy High junior wide receiver/defensive back Savone Williamson was on his couch at home, but wearing his helmet in support of the Eagles.

“I just wanted to be with them in some way, I wanted a connection,” Williamson said. “It was driving me crazy not to be with the team. I’m used to strapping it up on Friday nights.”

Meanwhile in Crestview, the rest of the JFK team was getting set to play its game against the Rebels. On their helmets was a decal displaying Williamson’s jersey number (3).

In JFK’s Sept. 7 game at Girard, Williamson suffered a season-ending injury when he broke his leg while forcing a fumble on a defensive play.

Williamson’s injury occurred just three plays into the game. The contest was delayed for 25 minutes while team doctors, trainers and paramedics worked on Williamson near midfield. Williamson’s shoe had to be cut off from his foot to allow for an air splint to be applied to the injury.

Williamson was eventually transported to a local hospital. He broke both his tibia and fibula, and had to undergo surgery three days following the game. He was released from the hospital on Wednesday.

The injury occurred when Williamson made contact with a teammate. Williamson noted that the sequence of events “wasn’t anything unusual at all,” and in fact he wasn’t initially aware of the extent of the injury,

“Crazy, it all happened so fast, I tried to get up after the play and a teammate looked at my leg started yelling, ‘no no, stay down,’” Williamson said. “I glanced down at my leg and I was like, ‘whoa, this can’t be real. This can’t be happening to me.’”

“After that, I didn’t want to look at my leg again. I didn’t even really feel the pain, I think I was more in shock. I was just trying to process what was happening.”

While Williamson was being treated on the field, coaches and players from both teams took turns offering up words of encouragement. Girard coach Pat Pearson remained next to Kennedy coach Jeff Bayuk throughout the delay.

“At that point, it wasn’t Kennedy versus Girard, everyone in the stadium was concerned for Savone,” Bayuk said. “Pat [Pearson] really showed a lot of class. He could have been huddling up his team, going over game strategy, but that was the furthest thing from his mind.”

While in the hospital Williamson was visited by a number of Girard players.

“That was awesome, that meant a lot to me,” Williamson said. “People think Girard-Kennedy is a big hate rivalry where all you think about is beating up on the opponent. I think that showed that football brings people together. Yeah we want to win, they want to win, but off the field it’s like a brotherhood.”

Williamson’s injury ended what looked to be a very promising junior season. In Kennedy’s opener against Champion, Williamson caught five passes for 67 yards, including a game-winning touchdown as time expired. The following week against LaBrae, he pulled in five catches for 67 yards. He was also a team leader on defense.

“Savone was really coming into his own this year, you just knew that he was going to be an impact player on both sides,” Bayuk said. “From a team perspective, we lost a major weapon.”

Williamson had planned on playing basketball for JFK this winter. Those plans will be put on hold while he undergoes approximately 12 weeks of healing and physical therapy. He does plan to run track next spring, and insists he’ll be on the football field next fall for his senior season.

“God had his reason for this to happen. He didn’t put me through this for no reason, so I just have to trust the process,” Williamson said. “Missing this season is just going to make me miss football that much more, and it will make me work harder for next year.”