COPLEY TWP.: The broken right leg is in the past.
Copley senior Aregeros Turner II is focused on the present and the future.
Turner opened the 2012 football season with another memorable performance Friday night, rushing for 114 yards and scoring five touchdowns in a 54-22 victory over visiting Cleveland John F. Kennedy.
In Turner’s mind, the Week 1 victory is just the beginning to a comeback season that continues Friday night when Copley hosts Firestone.
Turner was in the midst of his third season as a starter for the Indians last season when he suffered a broken right leg against the host Green Bulldogs on Oct. 14.
Physical therapy sessions and working out in the weight room to increase strength in his upper and lower body have molded Turner into a 17-year-old senior running back-cornerback who is 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds.
“I just worked hard in PT and had my family giving me support and telling me to keep working and that I would get better than I was before,” Turner said. “Now I am faster than I was last year. I ran a 4.41 [seconds in the 40-yard dash] at Cincinnati around three weeks ago.”
Turner said he holds scholarship offers from Tennessee, Illinois, Washington, Toledo, Purdue and the University of Akron, and is receiving interest from a host of other Division I schools. He plans to make a decision on his college future after the season.
Turner emerged on the Copley varsity football team as a 14-year-old freshman. His speed caught the attention of Indians coach Ron Viscounte, who had seen him compete in track and field while in middle school.
Viscounte and his staff decided to have Turner bypass playing freshman and junior varsity football after Turner stood out in a scrimmage against Hudson. Turner then started the second game of the 2009 regular season against Cleveland JFK, and Viscounte said he took one of his first carries “for an electrifying touchdown” in which he displayed his speed and cutting ability on the gridiron.
“I knew he was talented and I knew he was fast, but you always hesitate to bring a freshman up to play at the varsity level,” Viscounte said. “You’re leery to bring a 14-year-old in to play with 18-years-olds. You have to be cautious, but Aregeros displayed the ability to play on the varsity level quickly.”
Turner gained 3,374 rushing yards in his first three seasons on 528 carries and scored 36 touchdowns. He added 22 receptions for 310 receiving yards.
Then came the play against Green last season that left Turner lying on the ground staring up at the sky.
“I heard it, and then I looked,” Turner said. “Obviously, I saw it was broke. Then I just put my head back and let the trainer and everyone take care of me from there. It was my tibia.”
Turner said he laid there in shock for a few moments, thinking and wondering.
“I questioned it, but I had family behind me,” Turner said. “They were telling me not to give up and to just work hard and make sure that it didn’t end like that. My mom, sister, dad and all my close friends have been very supportive. Everyone I associate with has been awesome.”
Turner went through the rehabilitation process and feels stronger now after the pain and soreness have subsided. He said he doesn’t think about the injury when he plays, and instead is focused on helping the Indians win.
Senior Larry Goodman, junior Dylan Draper and sophomore Nick Gigliotti are returning starters along the Indians offensive line. Junior Costa Janos and sophomore Peyton Flasco round out the blockers who open holes for Turner.
“I think Aregeros has had a full recovery,” Viscounte said. “He certainly over the summer was able to do a lot of running and conditioning. He ran some real good times at camps, particularly at the Ohio State camp. In fact, he was running faster than he had run previously. We know he is at 100 percent. Last Friday night, even though he only carried the ball 11 times, he looked really strong running the ball and was able to cut at full speed. He was able to do everything that makes him a special running back.”
Turner said he is open to playing either running back or defensive back in college.
“When you have a guy like Aregeros on your team, he makes everyone around him better,” Viscounte said.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.