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Hays High's Rule back from injury, will see action

Published on -10/4/2012, 10:26 AM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

This summer playing baseball for the Hays Senior Legion, Hays High senior Chandler Rule slipped going into third base and broke his leg at Manhattan's Tournament of Champions on June 1.

The injury was a gruesome one. He broke his tibia and fibula and tore ligaments in his ankle.

The injury forced him to miss the remainder of the season, and between healing and reconditioning his muscles, the timetable for his recovery could have lasted until the beginning of the winter sports season.

However, Rule wanted to be back for his senior football season, and he succeeded.

Rule beat his target date and will see his first action Friday against Dodge City at Lewis Field Stadium.

"I knew it was going to be a big task coming into it, but I figured with a little bit of work we'd get it done," Rule said.

Rule, a 6-foot tall and 207-pound tight end/defensive end, will be eased into the lineup at first.

Hays High head coach Ryan Cornelsen said his playing time will be up to the discretion of Rule's athletic trainer who helped with his rehabilitation.

"His ankle doesn't have the endurance to hold up a whole game," Cornelsen said. "It will probably be spurts here and there for at least two weeks, probably. Hopefully by the third week, he'll be ready to go full."

Rule's battled through a daily ordeal of rehabilitation sessions and even made it back a week before the earliest expectations.

"Our trainer had a huge part with it," Rule said. "It was really intense, and we got after it every day after school."

Initially, Rule said next week's game against Great Bend was the target date, but he made it farther in his rehabilitation than even his trainer expected.

"She had me doing drills and stuff that she expected me to fail with, just to prove 'Hey, you're not ready,' but then I actually did really well with them," Rule said. "It kind of opened her eyes."

Rule started practicing last week, taking reps without pads. He put on shoulder pads near the end of the week and suited up full early this week.

Rule will provide depth along the offensive line at tight end and could help with the pass rush -- an area Hays High has struggled with this season.

"Chandler's played some big games and went up against some of the best teams last year in the state," Cornelsen said. "He just brings a bigger body and presence. He's pretty good at moving people."

Cornelsen said he never ruled out Rule to play this season.

"I don't think with an injury you ever want to count a kid out," Cornelsen said. "You never know how long things will take. Kids his age heal quick. I knew he'd be one that would do the rehab exactly as the doctor told him to do and really push it and do everything he could to get back."

Senior wide receiver/defensive back Jake Sedbrook was on Rule's legion baseball team and was crossing home when the injury occurred.

"It was pretty ugly," he said. "Everyone freaked out. I never really saw it, but everyone else told me it was pretty ugly."

Sedbrook admitted he was surprised to see him back so soon, but he's thankful his teammate put in the effort to get back.

"The injury he had was obviously pretty severe, but he worked really hard to get back to football," he said. "He wants to help us out. I'm really happy he's coming back."

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