For most athletes a torn ACL means their season is over. Maybe even part of the next season.
But Mike Ortiz doesn't have that option. He's won over 70 matches in four years for the Tigers and has just one season left to reach his ultimate goal.
"At first I was real upset," said the Tiger 170-pound wrestler. "I decided to look at it as overcoming adversity, something to deal with. You can't look at it as a setback. You've just got to move on and deal with it."
Ortiz suffered his first ACL tear at last year's Southeast Regional Championships. Coming off his District 11 title at 152 pounds, Ortiz was positioned to earn his first trip to states and make a run at regional and state titles.
The injury occurred in his first bout at regionals, ending his junior season.
He had surgery and then started rehabbing. By summer was on pace to be near full strength for wrestling season.
Then he tore it again.
Doctors left him two options. He could have surgery and miss his senior season or he could wrestle with the injury, wearing a brace.
He didn't even consider the surgery.
"That would have ended my season," he said. "Not an option."
It won't be easy. There will be pain. The brace will limit him movement and he'll have to make some changes to the way he wrestles. "The thought of going 13 o