When Tal Raboteau landed at Stonewall Jackson High School after fleeing flood-ravaged Mississippi, it seemed as though the high school junior would get a second chance at playing football this season.
The opportunity didn't last long.
Early in the fourth quarter Friday night, Raboteau suffered a broken collarbone after being tackled on a running play. For Stonewall Coach Loren Johnson, Raboteau's injury was a blow more disappointing than the Raiders' 25-13 loss at Potomac.
"To me, football is minimal at this point," Johnson said. "It's been hard enough for him with the hurricane and then having to leave everything behind, and now this is happening to him. I can't even describe to you how badly I feel for him right now."
Raboteau was taken from the field to receive medical attention and was unavailable for comment after the game. Stonewall freshman Damien Thigpen, a cousin with whom Raboteau now lives, was visibly upset after the game and declined to comment.
Friday's game was Raboteau's first since he left Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He received his jersey last weekend, and had gotten in one week of practice. Before the injury, he ran the ball 11 times for 38 yards and showed signs of possessing breakaway speed.
-- LIAM DILLON