Six days after Vista’s varsity football team lost junior running back Jaxson Hansen for the season with a broken leg, the Eagles lost junior offensive lineman Evan DePetrillo to a similar injury.
In first series of the fourth quarter of Vista’s first game of the season against Cordova, DePetrillo suffered a gruesome broken leg and dislocated ankle.
“It was a run play and I was driving my guy and my teammate, Nathan Guess, threw his guy and the guy landed on my leg,” DePetrillo said. “I was like ‘damn, that’s broke.”
It sure was. DePetrillo’s fibula was broken in two places, his ankle was dislocated and turned sideways, and he also tore some ligaments. Six days later, DePetrillo had surgery to repair his injuries. Though it’s anticipated he will recover completely and have no lingering issues with his leg and ankle, it’s still disappointing to have suffered it.
“It sucks it happened in my first varsity game,” DePetrillo said. “I worked for so long to be ready, but that’s part of the game.”
Though his leg injury hurt, DePetrillo handled it well at the time. Vista trainer Heather Cramer said he was the “calmest kid ever” having suffered an injury as bad as that. DePetrillo was photographed smiling as he left the field on a gurney, giving the crowd a thumb’s up.
“It was pretty cool having the crowd chanting my name,” DePetrillo said.
Casa Roble 35, Vista 28 OT
The Eagles suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Rams last Friday. While it was a disappointing to lose, the Eagles have shown in the early going this season that collectively, the team has a lot of heart. Vista battled from start to finish, fighting back from 21-14 and 28-21 deficits to tie the game at 28. The Eagles nearly won the game in regulation before falling in overtime.
“We fought and battled, just like we have in all of our games,” Vista coach Mike Struebing said. “That’s great to see. Though we lost, I felt we improved as a team from last week against Ponderosa. All we can do is to continue to work and bring the energy and enthusiasm after two tough weeks.”
Struebing said the team committed too many penalties in the loss to Casa Roble, and also struggled to run the ball, which has been an issue in the team’s first three games.
“We’ve got to clean up the penalties,” Struebing said. “We’re giving away too many yards. We’ve had trouble running the ball, and part of that is we’re still trying to establish our identity.”
The Eagles (1-2) head to Auburn this Friday to face one of the stronger teams in the area in Placer (3-0). Vista has played the Hillmen the last four years, alternating wins and losses. This year is Vista’s year to win, having won games in 2014 and 2016, but the Eagles will have to play their best to get it done.
“We’ve got our hands full,” Struebing said.