The football team from Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway, led by head coach Terry Smith, was participating in a 7-on-7 at the University of Michigan recently. It was going well at first, but then disaster struck.
Gateway's star safety, Dondi Kirby, went down with an ACL tear that has ended his hopes of playing during his senior year at the school. Obviously news such as that will be devastating for anyone -- especially a competitor such as Kirby.
"He's obviously disappointed," coach Smith said of Kirby. "He was ready to have a tremendous senior season. He was having a great summer to this point. He's just disappointed he won't have a chance to finish his high school career on top.
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"He's seen two different doctors to get two different opinions, and they both stated the same thing. He'll have surgery in a few weeks and he's out for the season."
Originally Kirby, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound defensive back, was planning on making his decision after his senior season. Those plans have now changed.
"The time frame is going to be moved up," his coach continued. "Everything is going to be moved around his surgery. Now that he's not going to be playing on Fridays, he can make a couple of official visits during the school year and possibly make a decision around October."
Kirby's coach said he has heard back from "10 or 12" colleges that have said they intend to honor the scholarship they offered earlier in the process. They are still waiting to hear back from some schools, but with so many coaches on vacation it can be a difficult time to establish that contact.
"We're off this week, and we're going to sit down in the next couple of weeks to figure out his official visits," coach Smith said.
Kirby, a four-star prospect, is ranked the No. 6 safety nationally by Rivals.com.