Senior running back Mitch Underhill, a critical part of Class 6A state power Wayzata, will miss the remainder of the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee for the second consecutive season.
Underhill was injured in the fourth quarter of the Trojans' 14-0 victory Sept. 28 at Minnetonka and did not return to the game. He said Monday that an MRI revealed both a torn ligament and meniscus.
Underhill sent a seven-part Twitter message to his followers on Monday evening: “Being able to play in 4 special games with my boys on the field is something I'll never forget, and sharing the special moments with every single one of you means a lot and will always have a special place in my heart. I love you boys and I know you will go far. I'll be on the sidelines with you guys wishing I could be out there with you, but everything happens for a reason and I believe in all of you that [you] can take this all the way. Just another obstacle in my path, but you know i’ll be grinding to get back next no matter what. Always chasing That dream I have no matter what. And thanks for everyone that has supported me, I'll never forget those people who are special in my heart. I'll be waiting to hear the fans at all our games cheer on the boys of fall and to pursue the team dream. I'll be going along with the ride. Things happen for a reason don't know what for but [God] has a plan for everyone, and I'll be pursuing my dream.”
Word spread in the final minutes of last Friday’s game and afterward teammates and Minnetonka coach Dave Nelson offered their support. Senior Trojans linebacker Will Long and his teammates came to Underhill and did the team breakdown cheer. Underhill, who wore a brace on his right knee during the game, sat on the bench with his right leg wrapped and extended. Teammates later prayed while huddled near Underhill. Well-wishes on Twitter from friends and teammates came pouring in later Friday evening.
Underhill, a 5-9, 180-pound runner with great speed and adept at making cuts, enjoyed a breakout performance as a 15-year-old sophomore playing in the 2010 Prep Bowl. He finished with 247 yards on 12 carries and torched Rosemount with touchdown dashes of 45, 66, 58 and 58 yards.
He was injured in the second quarter of the Trojans' season-opening victory at Prior Lake in 2011 and missed the remainder of the season.
He came back with a flourish, racing 62 yards for a touchdown against Bloomington Jefferson on his first carry of the season. He ran 30 times for 221 yards and five touchdowns through the first three games this season. And he ripped of a 40-yard run against Minnetonka.
“You hate to see a kid that worked so hard to come back get hurt,” Wayzata coach Brad Anderson said after Friday’s game.