Setbacks don't stop Mt. Lebanon senior Rengers
Mt. Lebanon's Glenn Rengers has modest goals.
"One of them is to play the whole season," he said. "I haven't done that since ninth grade."
Take into account his three knee surgeries and the serious eye injury that have limited his high school career to four games, and that goal seems a little loftier.
Rengers, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior, will play on special teams for Mt. Lebanon tonight when it opens the season at Woodland Hills. He could also play free safety, Mt. Lebanon coach Chris Haering said.
Rengers' trials began in September 2005, the beginning of his sophomore year. He tore his right ACL and had reconstructive surgery. A year later he tore his left ACL, an injury that required two surgeries. Rengers attended physical therapy three times a week for five months. Still, he said he wasn't initially bothered.
"After the first time, I didn't think it was that big of a deal," he said. "After the second one I had to come back and prove to everyone that I could still play. Nobody expected me to come back after three surgeries."
He did, and through it all, he said, he never thought about quitting. But his story doesn't end there. Running a play during a practice last year, he caught a finger in his right eye, and it almost did more damage than two ACL tears ever could.
"I was playing cornerback, and the receiver came up to block me," he said. "I pushed him over, and he tried to hit me in the chest, but his knuckle hit me right in the eye. It wasn't really painful. I just couldn't see."
Haering insisted he go to the emergency room.
There, the doctor told Rengers that he nearly had an eye hemorrhage and would have been blind if he had not gone to the hospital immediately.
Heading into the season, though, he's as healthy as can be expected. His vision is still blurred, and he still must ice his knees to ease the pain that accompanies any kind of athletic activity, but Rengers is still on the field.
"Glenn is a tough young man," Haering said. "We think he's been a tremendous inspiration to the rest of the guys on this team."