September 6, 2008

The Road To Redemption

Sept. 6, 2008

By Eugene Matz
Special to GoHolyCross.com

Looking back at last year, you could never tell that fifth-year senior Ryan McGuire had a season-ending injury that forced him to miss all of the 2006 season. Being named first team All-Patriot League only one year after sitting out a whole season with a broken leg is an amazing story -- but it was not an easy journey for McGuire.

McGuire broke his leg in a car accident after the 2005 season, but was fully healed and ready to make a big contribution in 2006. Then during preseason camp, he broke the same leg again and was sidelined for the year. Breaking the same leg twice with unrelated injuries in less than a year may have forced many to give it up, but McGuire never let the injury affect his desire to get back on the field.

He received a medical redshirt for the 2006 season because of his broken leg, and rather then let the injury impact his game in a negative way, McGuire chose to make the most out of his time off. He attended every practice and film session, and was on the sidelines for every game, supporting his teammates and learning as much as possible from the coaches. "The time off gave me a chance to get as ready for the next season as possible, whether it was watching film with my teammates or just paying attention as if I was playing, even though I was hurt," said McGuire.

As he went through rehab and started to practice again, McGuire knew that the upcoming 2007 season was going to be a special one for him, but others were not as sure if he would come back full strength after such a serious injury. "Heading into 2007, I was definitely ready to go, but a lot of coaches were wondering how good I would be, and if I fully recovered -- in that aspect I had a lot to prove," said McGuire. He surpassed everyone's expectations, and showcased his true potential as a starting tight end, earning first team All-Patriot League honors. Playing in all 11 games, caught 12 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown, but it was his versatility and blocking ability that set him apart from other tight ends in the league. "I did a lot of different things last year -- I might line up as a slot receiver, or go in motion as a fullback," said McGuire. "The coaches really utilized my versatility, and we plan on doing that even more this year."

McGuire has had his ups and downs during his career at Holy Cross, but he credits the coaching staff for helping him through the rehab process, and giving him the opportunity to succeed and realize his full potential. He also praises his mother and father, Bonnie and Mark, for giving him the strength and support to overcome the tough times.