From the sports editor: Glover opts to play one last season

Clearly, the Wolverines are excited to have Nick Glover back on the field for one more season. He’s played in 31 games for Wesley, earning honorable mention All-NJAC honors in 2017. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

DOVER — Nick Glover wishes he could remember the guy’s name.

But he was a former Wesley College football player that Glover was talking to in June.

Like Glover, the ex-Wolverine suffered a serious injury and had to decide whether to keep playing or not.

“He was telling me, he didn’t play because he just didn’t want it to happen again,” Glover remembered. “He was just telling me, ‘Look, I know what you’re going through.’

“But, he said, ‘If you have the ability to keep trying one more time. … you don’t want to have any regrets.’ He’s like, ‘To this day, I regret not playing.’ I was like, ‘I don’t want to have that same regret if I know I can play.”

That’s why, at the age of 22, Glover finds himself pushing his body through one more sweltering Wesley preseason camp.

After suffering the same injury to the same knee for the second time in his career last fall, the Dover High grad spent a lot of the off-season on the fence about whether to return for a fifth year on the Wolverines’ defensive line.

Nick Glover

It probably wasn’t until June that Glover fully committed to coming back.

“It can be very discouraging (suffering the same injury),” said Wesley defensive coordinator Joe Bottiglieri. “I know for a while he was discouraged. But, as time went on and the knee started feeling better, he started getting more and more excited about coming back and playing.”

The injury, of course, is etched in Glover’s memory.

It happened in the Wolverines’ fourth game of the season, at Southern Virginia. Glover, a 6-foot-1, 300-pound defensive tackle, was going to bring down a running back on a play up the middle.

“One of my own teammates — unfortunately — he was trying to go attack the ball carrier as well,” said Glover. “As I planted, he actually dove before I could. His helmet went right straight into my (right) knee. After that, it was game over.

“I knew it. I felt the same pain I felt when I first had that same injury. I was like, ‘Yep, that’s it.’”

Just like with the injury earlier in his Wesley career, the Hartly native underwent surgery. He tore his lateral meniscus both times.

The thing that probably scares Glover the most is the possibility of injuring his knee again. He wonders how that would affect the rest of his life.

Glover said he prayed about his decision.

“Once I start something, I’ve got to finish,” he said. “I’ve been putting in the work this whole summer, me and some of my teammates, and they’ve helped motivate me to keep pushing. I know injuries happen.

“I’ve been working all summer trying to strengthen this knee. I feel good.”

Clearly, the Wolverines are excited to have Glover back on the field for one more season.

He’s played in 31 games for Wesley, earning honorable mention All-NJAC honors in 2017. With fellow defensive tackle Rock Hunter also deciding to come back from a knee injury to play one more season, the Wolverines think they have the makings of a pretty good defensive line.

“I wouldn’t say he’s 100 percent back to his pre-injury self,” said Wesley head coach Chip Knapp. “But he’s doing things at a pretty high level and he’s really going to help the team. There’s a maturity to him that the younger guys can learn from.

“He knows a lot, he’s been through a lot, he has a lot of game experience to draw from. He’s a natural leader for our defense.”

“To overcome two knee injuries like that and still come back, it means a lot to our program and to the defense,” said senior Will Scott, another Dover grad and defensive lineman. “He’s looking good.”

Glover, of course, knows there’s no guarantees about his knee — just like everything else in life.

But, things being what they are, he’s looking forward to getting the chance to play some more football.

“Injuries happen,” said Glover. “I try not to think about it as much. I just try to stay focused and go with it.

“One day, I was watching some of my football highlights and I was just thinking, ‘I know I can still do this.’ … The games are always the best. Practice is what helps you get better but the games are really how you show what kind of talent you have — show the people what you’re made of.

“That’s what motivates me. When I get into that game mode, I feel like I’m unstoppable. I feel like I can do anything.”

Local NFL update

It may have only been a preseason game but it was a pretty cool three-play stretch for Alex Ellis on Thursday night.

The Delmar High grad is trying to make the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster as a free-agent tight end.

On three consecutive plays in the Eagles’ contest with the Ravens, Ellis caught a nine-yard touchdown pass, made a nice kick-out block on a two-point conversion run and tackled Baltimore’s ball carrier on the ensuing kickoff return.

Those plays earned Ellis a lot of attention on the Eagles’ TV broadcast.

In the same game, former Wesley College quarterback Joe Callahan had just gotten in the game in the fourth quarter for the Ravens. Callahan ran for a first down and made a nice scramble out of a sack only to have the game stopped by lightning a moment later.

Odds & ends

• Dover’s Madison Brengle plays a first-round match in the U.S. Open on Tuesday in New York. Ranked No. 78 in the world, Brengle will face 39th-ranked Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.

The 29-year-old Brengle is 3-6 all-time at the Open, reaching the third round of the Grand Slam tennis event in 2015.

• Dover High baseball All-Stater Nathan Turner, who will be a senior this year, has verbally committed to NCAA Division II Wilmington University.

• A total of 16 Delaware high schools were named winners of the Dale Farmer State Champions in Sportsmanship award by the DIAA. To be considered, schools must submit a portfolio that is checked against a set of criteria.

This year’s downstate winners, with the number of times they’ve won the award are Caesar Rodney (9), Lake Forest (9) and Sussex Tech (13).

• The Delaware Valley sports writing community lost another one of its former longstanding members when Jack Chevalier died last Saturday at the age of 83. ‘Chevy,’ who was the sports editor of the Wilmington News Journal from 1983-93, is probably best remembered of the Flyers’ great teams of the early 1970s.

Chevalier is credited with coining the nickname ‘Broad Street Bullies’ for the two-time Stanley Cup champions.

• Delaware Tech is looking for a head coach in men’s lacrosse. New athletic director Mike Ryan can be reached at Michael.ryan@dtcc.edu.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.
Facebook Comment