Friday Football Frenzy: Meet two high school seniors overcoming major injuries

By Cathy Hernandez - Reporter
KPRC

A big game between Magnolia High School and Shadow Creek High School was the KPRC 2 Friday Football Frenzy Game of the Week.

HOUSTON - A big game between Magnolia High School and Shadow Creek High School is the KPRC 2 Friday Football Frenzy Game of the Week. 

It is scheduled to take place at Freedom Field at 10855 Iowa Colony Blvd, Rosharon, TX 77583 at 7 p.m. Friday.

MAGNOLIA HIGH SCHOOL

A senior at Magnolia High School is not playing on the football field, but helping in other ways after he suffered a terrible injury.

“If I were to keep playing, it would just never have the opportunity to heal properly and it could impact me later in life in a negative way,” said senior Caleb Thelen.

Thelen broke his neck during football practice just before his sophomore year

“Just knowing that they’re out there battling," he said. "Sometimes it feels like you’re not out there with them, you’re not fighting that war with them so it is hard."

The recovery was tough, but Thelen still returned to play his junior and senior years with doctors’ warnings.

“(Doctors said) if I was continuing to be having arm pains and nerve pain and neck pain, that at a certain point, you want to take care of your health before going to play the game," said Thelen.

Just two weeks before football season this year, they gave Thelen the heartbreaking news.

“When you’re given the option of risk permanent nerve damage or play football, that’s a pretty simple choice,” said Magnolia High School football coach Craig Martin.

Still, Thelen goes to every practice, every game and every team meeting.

“He is a part of the team," said Martin. "He has found ways to be an assistant coach, to be a filmer, to be a mentor to all of those guys."

Thelen said he wouldn’t be anywhere else.

“God may close one door and open another so it’s just a different role," said Thelen. "It’s a different way for me to contribute to a cause and I understand that now."

After graduation, Thelen wants to attend Texas A&M University, become a member of the Corps of Cadets and study construction science.

SHADOW CREEK HIGH SCHOOL

A senior at Shadow Creek High School has fought against injuries and has become a standout on the field and the classroom.

“Growing up, my dad was a football coach so I’ve got a passion for it," said senior Beau Burns. "It’s basically the only thing I’ve known all my life."

Burns was a senior linebacker at Alvin ISD’s Shadow Creek High School.

He almost didn’t make it back to the football field this year.

“I was starting to think if this was for me," Burns said. "Is football still what I want to do with my life?”

He suffered two major injuries last season. First, he broke his collarbone and then tore his labrum, both in the same shoulder.

“It taught me that there’s going to be adversity in life," Burns said. "the important thing to do is just push through it."

With the support from his family this year he’s stronger and more determined than ever and it’s not just on the football field.

“His performance in the classroom, I think, is something not all kids understand the importance of it as early as he has," said head football coach Brad Butler. "He’s done a great job at being high achieving and all the phases of his life."

Burns is looking forward to another year and his future.

“My parents have always taught me academics over everything," said Burns. "Grades are going to get you where you’re going in life, not just football."

Burns is meeting with football coaches at Rice University in two weeks.

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