Playing Hurt: After surgery, Ramey's back for senior season
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Sept. 7, 2004 - Sulphur Springs senior Jared Ramey uses a knee brace this year to give his joint some support. Last year, it was basically to hold his knee together.

Ramey completely tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) while playing indoor soccer in 2003, the summer before his junior year, though he finished out the season and even played in the 7-on-7 passing football league that summer before finally going to the doctor to find out what was causing the pain in his knee.

"When it happened, it popped real loud, but I put some ice on it and played. When I played 7-on-7 that summer I had a sleeve to put on it," Ramey explained. "It started hurting again, so I went to the doctor before school started, and he told me I had a completely torn ACL.

"He took an MRI of my knee and the ACL just wasn't there. It was gone."

Instead of having surgery, though, Ramey just put on a knee brace and went out and started the first seven games of the 2003 season for the Wildcats at running back, before a direct impact on the knee against Sherman made him miss a few more games.

That he played at all is a wonder. After the Sherman game, his leg was purple and black from his ankle to his thigh. He came back the next week and played a few snaps against Greenville and then was the team's deep-snapper for the final two games.

He finally had surgery on Dec. 3.

"To play a full season with a completely torn ACL tells you how tough he is," said SSHS head coach Brad Turner. "I've never had anyone do that. He's as tough a player as I've ever coached.

"Everything he does, he does it full speed, and I think that rubs off on others as well. It doesn't matter where you put Jared, he's going to do a good job. You know you're going to get his best effort, whether it's returning kicks or deep snapping or playing offense or defense."

Ramey is back on defense this season, the side of the ball he truly loves. He started at safety as a sophomore before his 2002 season was cut short because of concussions.

After rushing for more than 400 yards last year, Ramey is back on defense as a senior, where he plays outside linebacker.

"He's a deep snapper. He can play running back, he'd probably be as good of a wide receiver as we've got," Turner said in naming off Ramey's attributes. "He's very physical in running around on defense.

"He's certainly an asset to our team."

Ramey hadn't played much offense until last season, but emerged as the team's top rusher. He saw a little action there against Forney on Friday in the fourth quarter, but his main emphasis this season is defense.

"I love defense. That's what I've always wanted to do, but my concussions held me back. I love our new defense," he said. "I played defense all the way up to last year. I started at safety as a sophomore. This year, I have to play some safety when Keenan gets tired from going both ways."

Wherever he's at on the field, he wants to accomplish one of the team's goals - and one of his dreams - to go deep in the playoffs.

"I want to win a playoff game, to see how it feels to get to that next level," he explained. "I used to watch the Wildcats back in the day when we went deep every year, and I'd like to get back to that level."

Another of his personal goals is to play every game - something injuries have not allowed him to do on the varsity level.

"I want to play every game this year. I don't want to come out," Ramey said. "It'd be nice to finish out the year, and to finish it with some playoff wins."

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