High school athletics career over for Fruitland High's Dhaenens

An MRI taken Wednesday confirmed that Fruitland High senior Alec Dhaenens has a torn ACL in his left knee.

Dhaenens, a starting tight end and linebacker, will have surgery soon and be out for nine months, Fruitland coach Bruce Schlaich said.

The injury occurred last Saturday when Dhaenens caught a pass against Casa Roble (Calif.) and then made a cut to avoid a defender.

"Obviously it's devastating, but it does not change our goal and focus on winning a state championship," Schlaich said. "There are 39 other kids out there that believe we can still do it, and I am one of them."

The 6-foot-4, 240-pound senior has already made a verbal commitment to play for Boise State and is a 2011 first-team selection at tight end on the 3A All-Idaho team.

Schlaich said senior Eric Corona will step in for Dhaenens on offense and that a number of players will rotate on the D-line.

With a recovery time of nine months, Dhaenens will also miss the opportunity to help the Grizzlies defend their state championship in basketball this winter.

"It's a hard spin for an 18-year-old kid to go through that," Schlaich said. "... You wait for your kid's senior year and to have it taken away in an instant is hard to deal with."

OUCH

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