- Last December, Tyler Carroll thought his high school football career might be over. But he refused to let that happen and recently capped off a fantastic senior season.
"He's just an incredible athlete, it doesn't matter where you put him, he's going to attempt to make plays and he makes a lot of plays," said Lakeland Union's Head Coach Dan Barutha.
All season long, that's exactly what Carroll did, no matter what position he had to play.
"I just tried to do whatever was best for the team, whether that's put me at receiver, quarterback or running back for the rest of the year, I just did whatever I could for the team," said Carroll.
Carroll played all three of those positions throughout the season due to injuries up and down the Thunderbirds roster. He racked up 17 touchdowns including four against Rhinelander on Friday. But Carroll's biggest obstacle for this year came in the form of a bonfire accident last December.
"To go through what he had to go through, I can't even imagine," said Barutha.
The accident forced Carroll into the hospital for nearly a month with severe burns on his legs. But with a focus on his senior football season, he bounced back.
"Being able to stick his mind to it and battle through the greatest adversity he may ever face in his life, shows truly what his character is and who he is now as a man," said Barutha.
Overcoming that off-field adversity is part of what helped make Carroll so affective on the field during the season.
"With what we were dealing with, we had a great year I feel like. I would've loved to make playoffs. I think we were on a great track for that without the injuries," said Carroll.
And despite the injured T-Birds struggling to just two overall wins this year, Carroll says he'll still enjoy the memories of his final season in black and white.
"Going into the season, I knew what I came out of and what I'm capable of," said Carroll. "So I had nothing to lose the whole season, so I gave it everything I had."
Carroll now turns his attention to hockey season. He and the Thunderbirds can hit the ice for their first practice on November 6.