Fighting through a right shoulder injury that has hampered him the last two seasons, Providence senior Jake Lindsey has often doubted whether it was worth trying to come back.
“There have been so many times I thought about quitting,” Lindsey said. “Once you invest so much time and energy, though, it’d be disappointing to drop it all.
“I’m doing it not only for myself, but for my family, Providence, my coaches, everybody who’s supported me.”
Ultimately, there’s another thing that keeps Lindsey going. The 2016-17 state champion wants to take one more shot at reaching the top of the podium again.
“If I didn’t try to compete for a state title, six months later I’d look back at it and wonder,” he said. “I’d never want to live with that regret.”
Lindsey (18-4), ranked No. 3 in Class 3A at 113 pounds by the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association, took the first step by winning Saturday’s Andrew Regional.
After sitting out much of last season with the injury, Lindsey returned for the postseason and won a regional title, only to fall one win short of making it to state.
“It’s crazy to be at the top winning a state title and not even qualify a year later,” Lindsey said. “It does a lot, makes you question a lot of things, takes you to a dark place. It’s not fun.”
Donny Reynolds, who’s in his first year as Providence’s coach, has seen how much of a fighter Lindsey is.
“He’s a tough kid,” Reynolds said. “He’s grinding right now and he’s trying to finish his senior season off on a high note.
“We’ve got to keep him in positions where he’s comfortable scoring and make sure he stays healthy the rest of the way.”
Lindsey has been in and out of the lineup this season. He returns, only to reaggravate the injury.
“It’s been a crazy ride,” Lindsey said. “No one outside of our Providence room can even imagine what I’ve been through. Hopefully in a couple weeks, though, I can be back on top.”