Callaway’s Fanning overcomes multiple ACL injuries to lead defense

Published: Aug. 22, 2018 at 11:28 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 22, 2018 at 11:32 PM EDT
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(WTVM) - Callaway linebacker Tely Fanning is no stranger to making the big play.

"He plays really fast," head coach Pete Wiggins said. "He's a smaller guy, but on the field he's one of the fastest kids we've ever had."

Entering his fourth season with the Cavaliers, he's also familiar with how to run the team's defense.

"He's really the head honcho of the defense right now," teammate Keiondre Jones said.

"The word is priceless," Wiggins described him. "I mean he's a coach on the field."

He's also no stranger to battling adversity. Fanning suffered an ACL tear that ended his season against Heard County in 8th grade.

Then one year later, disaster struck again, also versus Heard County. Same knee, same injury, torn ACL, out for the season.

"I just started crying because, it didn't hurt, but I couldn't play until my 11th-grade year," Fanning said.

"It was like a 'wow you just got back," Jones said. "We know it was hard for him of course not being able to play the game he loves so much"

"What kept me going, my boys were pushing me, my teammates were pushing me to come back," Fanning said.

Fanning returned to the field last year for his junior season, and made it count. He finished second on the team in tackles, now he's ready to lead his team for his final year.

"The way he carries himself each day," Wiggins said," the way he's worked to get back on the field, and just a great role model in our school."

"He's going to do what he has to do to win and we really appreciate that around here," Jones said.

Fanning's shown what he can do with a full season under his belt. Now he's got bigger goals.

"I want to win a state championship, and I want to strive hard for greatness," he said.

With the work he's put in, he's doing his part to get the Cavaliers to greatness this season.

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