Holiday Issue: 2016
‘Kwas’: From knee injury to college offer
October 14, Friday night football … Alek Kwasniewski, senior linebacker for Kings, never thought this would be his last high school football game.
On a play late in the third quarter, Alek “Kwas” (No. 5 pictured above) tackled the running back behind the line of scrimmage and immediately curled into a ball. He had twisted his knee and said he felt a pop.
“I didn’t think it was anything serious, I thought my knee had popped out and then back in. It didn’t hurt but we were winning so the coaches didn’t let me back in.”
After the MRI the next day, Coach Ron Corradini told everyone during film, “Guys, Kwas has a torn ACL and Meniscus. He’s done for the season.”
“You could really feel the energy drain from the room,” Corradini said. “Kwas is one of the nicest and most hardworking kids we’ve ever had here. It was one of those moments you never forget.”
A week after the initial tear, Oct. 21, Kwas had reconstructive surgery on his right knee. Knee injuries are often unpredictable, and have ended many football careers.
But not for Kwas. About a month and a half after surgery, he received an offer from Robert Morris University to play football.
Kwas said, “The head coach came and talked to me at school then told me he needed to call my dad. So I gave him my dad’s number and later that day my dad told me they offered me. So the next day I called the coach and accepted the offer.”
Through seven games this past season, Kwas finished second on the team in tackles with 28 solo and 22 assisted, with 1 sack, 1 interception, and 2 forced fumbles. So to be second on the team and play four fewer games than everyone else, it is not difficult to imagine what he could have accomplished.
By Nick Coniglio
photo credits: Varsity Views