PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Arnold football team is working towards a showdown game with Mosley, playing for first place in 5A District 1 with quarterback Cade Ledman still on the mend.
Ledman is one of multiple Arnold players banged up at the midway point of the season, busting his pinky finger on his right (throwing) hand in a 37-21 victory over Bay on September 14. The break required surgery last week.
On Tuesday afternoon, Ledman readied for practice with a heavily taped finger. Understandably, the coaches and players are optimistic he'll be good to go for the biggest game of the season so far.
"Dr. (Chad) Mitchell and Southern Orthopedic did a marvelous job of being able to do the surgery on his pinky. It looks better than the other pinky, actually," head coach Josh Wright said. "We'll just let the doctors let us know where we're at on game day. He's going through, he's doing what he can do at practice and getting himself ready for Friday night."
Although the doctors will make the call, early-week practices have shown positive progress.
"Yeah he can throw it," Wright added. "He's no Johnny Unitas, but he can take snaps and throw the football."
Even though Ledman will be a game time decision (with the all signs pointing to him playing, barring a major setback), Wright says his perseverance practicing through the injury sets a great example.
"He's not going to let an injury take him out of ballgame. Again even last Friday night, getting it set on the sideline, and getting back in the game and having a whale of a ballgame a couple of weeks ago."
Ledman isn't the only one showing that kind of determination.
"You take Terry Byers on defense, he has a broken bone in his hand and he's gonna strap it up and go, flying around and be an amazing leader on defense," Wright said. "Both those leaders on both sides of the ball are not gonna be affected greatly by injuries."
Friday's game is scheduled for Chapman Field at Tommy Oliver Stadium at 7 p.m. and is one of several we'll feature on Friday Night Overtime.