Senior discovers he has fractured vertebra |

Senior discovers he has fractured vertebra

Richard Chittick

FARMER’S KORNER – Summit High School football and basketball star senior Preston Johnson discovered on Wednesday that he has a hairline fracture of the C-6 vertebra in his neck.

According to Johnson’s mother, Liz Whitworth, the injury was diagnosed at Vail Summit Orthopaedics and Sports Rehabilitation in Frisco after Johnson complained of stiffness in his neck.

The injury happened at the last game of the season at Elizabeth High School on Oct. 31.

“I remember the exact play it happened,” Johnson said. “An Elizabeth player speared me in the back of the head. It was a pretty good hit.”

Tigers defensive coach Mike Rathgeber saw the play transpire.

“He got turned around and it was just bad timing,” Rathgeber said. “I don’t think the kid meant to spear him.”

Johnson added: “I sat out two plays. I had to catch my breath. It was the last game of my high school career, so I decided to stay in the game.”

According to Rathgeber, the injury is minor.

Rathgeber is also Summit High’s head basketball coach. Johnson will head to the doctor in a month with a chance to be cleared for the hoops season.

The Tigers basketball season begins with a scrimmage at Clear Creek on Nov. 25.

Their regular season begins at Summit High on Dec. 6 against Woodland Park.

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