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After injury, Klostreich recovering to be rushing threat for Gila Ridge
The road to the gridiron has been a long one for Gila Ridge running back Jordan Klostreich, but now that he's arrived, he's making the most of it.
At the Gila Ridge spring game in 2011, Klostreich was just one of coach Jay Denton's many backs. Trying to make a name for himself, Klostreich was running hard, and in the midst of his efforts came tragedy.
With one faulty step, Klostreich tore both his meniscus and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
Klostreich held out hope, thinking it might not be serious.
“I kind of felt it and I couldn't walk on it for a while. I thought maybe it's just a little fluid in there or something, but then we went up to Phoenix to get a doctor's opinion and he said yeah, you tore something.”
Klostreich's junior season was over.
“I just stepped wrong. It was sad; when they told me I couldn't play, I was kind of like dang, all right.”
Klostreich was constrained to the sidelines his junior season, and his rehabilitation seemed to last an eternity.
“It was long,” he said. “I'd come and watch the games here and I just wanted to be on the field.”
A week before the Hawks' opener against Mohave in Bullhead City, Klostreich lined up for a hitting drill. After taking a helmet to his injured knee, a sensation that was all too familiar came over him.
“I was so excited and it was a week before the first game. I felt it again and I was like, ‘Oh, I know I tore something again.'”
He reaggravated his previous ACL injury but not quite as bad this time. Doctors recommended he have another surgery before the end of the season, but since this is his last year of high school, Klostreich has opted to play through.
“During the games, it's hard to notice,” Klostreich said of the pain. “But after the games, it starts to hurt and it's sore the next couple days. You have to ice, but during the games you don't think about it too much.”
Klostreich's not the flashiest back in the world, but in Denton's multiback system, he doesn't need to be. After some injuries at the position early this season, Denton's been able to lean on Klostreich for some stretches in some key victories.
“We had a lot of backs show up and we looked at a lot of them, and he's stepped up the last few weeks,” Denton said. “He might not have the total stats everybody has but for what we want out of him, he's done a great job.”
Klostreich broke out against El Centro-Central with 120 rushing yards and a touchdown and hasn't looked back since. He rushed for 142 yards and a touchdown the next week against Yuma High and had two touchdowns against San Luis.
Klostreich hopes to continue the success against Cibola on Friday.
“Ever since my freshman year, we were kind of, like, ‘Cibola's the team to beat.' Cibola's the team that we want to be better than. Now that I'm a senior, it's a big game. We want to win this game — it just depends on who makes the fewest mistakes.”
Klostreich has been surrounded by football from an early age. His grandfather, Don Klostreich, was a football coach and athletic director at San Pasqual from 1994 to 2010.
“Going to my grandpa's practice and watching everyone else play made me want to play.”
As a freshman, turning out for high school football was a little scary at first, Klostreich said, but the support network at Gila Ridge allowed him to learn and grow as a player.
“It was a little intimidating seeing the other seniors, but they weren't too bad,” Klostreich said jokingly. “They kind of helped you along; they didn't pick on you too bad. If you didn't do something right, they'd let you know it was OK. They wouldn't be, like, ‘Oh you messed up.'”
Denton has been a big part of Klostreich's success as well.
“He coaches you a long the way,” Klostreich said. “If you have problems, he'll stop and wait and go through it with you. He's very easy to talk to.”
Klostreich has looked at some colleges but is leaning toward joining the military after high school. No matter what he decides to do, one thing's for sure: He won't give up.