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Peterson: A definite case of mind over matter

Some years ago, there was a basketball player at Bergland High School by the name of Neil Kalember.

A smooth lefthanded shooter, Kalember helped the Vikings to a couple of district titles and a berth in the U.P. regional finals as a sophomore.

But early in his senior season, Kalember suffered a broken arm and missed the entire campaign

While we had been opponents, I hadn’t seen him until many years later at Lake Gogebic while vacationing. We got to reminiscing about our past days on the court and I asked him about the season he lost to injury.

“It was the longest winter of my life,” said Kalember, who passed away a couple of years ago. “And to have it happen as a senior made it all that much worse.”

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of athletes suffer injuries that shortened their playing days. For seniors, it was doubly difficult because their playing days were, for all intents and purposes, finished.

So when senior quarterback Carter Crouch of Lake Linden-Hubbell suffered a torn ACL before the football season even began, I, and mostly everyone else, figured his career was done.

You suffer an ACL and you’re basically finished for the season … that’s the cold hard fact of it.

But Carter, who has been a starter since his freshman year, wasn’t about to call it quits.

“He’s played because he wants to play,” said LL-H coach Andy Crouch, who is also Carter’s father. “He’s invested a lot into the game of football and his teammates.”

Suiting up for five games, young Crouch helped the Lakes get into the playoffs with his play.

While lacking the mobility he once possessed, he’s been effective. In the season closing win over Manistique, Carter scored two touchdowns running the ball and also passed for two more.

“When he’s in there, our opponents can’t load up the box. He gives us a different look.”

LL-Hubbell will face a hard-hitting West Iron County team Saturday in the playoffs and that figures to be a tough task.

But the determination and SISU young Crouch has displayed has already served as an inspiration to many people.

It will be interesting to see if he’s able to compete in basketball (another sport he was also very good in) and baseball.

I wouldn’t bet against it because this is definitely a case of mind over matter.

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