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The news came a week ahead of tryouts and it was music to his hears.
After missing extended time last season due to a knee injury, getting back on the football field with his teammates was a welcomed opportunity for Korah’s Dante Scaglione.
The injury kept him off the field for much of Korah’s run to a Northern Bowl title in 2021, Scaglione received clearance from doctors to step back on the field seven days before the senior Colts began tryouts in August.
“I was honestly a little shocked,” Scaglione said about getting the go-ahead to step back on the field. “I knew that the rehab went well because of the way I was accelerating in the gym with my knee. When he said it was solid on the inside, I was a little shocked.”
Scaglione’s efforts to get back on the field certainly didn’t go unnoticed by Korah coach Tom Annett.
“They guy is one of the strongest athletes we’ve ever seen in our program,” Annett said. “That injury he had was devastating.”
“He worked super hard (to recover),” Annett added. “To see him back on the field playing means so much and I know how much he loves this game. It makes us happy and warms our heart to see him out here making plays and having fun and leading our team.”
With camp and a pair of regular season games under his belt to start the season, Scaglione said his knee has been holding up well early on.
Training to prepare for a return to the gridiron saw Scaglione focus on getting his leg where it needed to be.
“I focused purely on that leg and getting it back to that athletic standpoint,” Scaglione said. “When I was out for surgery, I lost quite a bit of size on the leg and strength.”
Scaglione added that, when he tore his ACL, his leg “went into shock” which affected his quad muscle as well.
“Getting back into the gym and getting that quad to kind of wake up again (was important),” Scaglione said. “Learning how to work around some things, I do a lot of things differently now on and off the field because of the injury. It’s kind of reshaped the way I live.”
Training has become an additional sense of pride for Scaglione. The discipline of training is something he enjoys in the process.
“It’s definitely the process,” Scaglione said. “I don’t think it’s dedication or motivation that keeps me going. It’s definitely the discipline, just because there’s always ways to improve mentally and physically. When I started working out in Grade 9, seeing the changes physically and mentally, how you structure your life and structure your day and plan it out, it feels good when things go that way. From the physical changes, it’s addicting. Once you start seeing the physical changes like the strength and the size, it’s definitely something that you just start to seek more of, and it starts to build up as a hobby.”
As a veteran member of the Colts, Scaglione has been a key leader on a team that has jumped out to a 2-0 record early on in the high school football season.
“He’s an unbelievable player,” Annett said. “He’s the emotional and vocal leader of our team. He gets everyone fired up and he players super physical and tough, but he does it with class too. He’s an exemplary player. A lot of kids look up to him. That’s why he’s one of our captains.”
The leadership role is one that Scaglione relishes as well.
“It’s definitely a good feeling having the thought in the back of your mind that there’s people that look up to you,” Scaglione said. “You’re leading by example on the field.”
A multi-sport athlete at Korah, Scaglione hopes to be back on the ice this season with the Colts hockey team, but a final decision will come after the completion of the football season and following another meeting with doctors to determine how his knee would hold up to being back on the ice.
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