Football star delays surgery for broken leg to watch final plays

Cameron Smith
December 10, 2010

Euless Trinity (Texas) High's memorable victory over Coppell (Texas) High last weekend is already being called one of the great high school football games in state history for its final-play, game-winning touchdown and all the hype that preceded it. However, the dramatic conclusion overshadowed a number of other tense subplots that happened earlier in the game.

One of those was a severe injury to Trinity starting safety Sione "John" Paipa. The junior broke his leg on a play in the second half, and was carted off the field and taken immediately to a hospital.

Yet, according to the Dallas Morning News, once Paipa arrived, he refused to go directly into surgery, as one of the team doctors (who happened to be an orthopedic surgeon) had arranged for. Instead, the junior asked doctors if they could delay the procedure until the end of the game, so he could watch the tight playoff contest's conclusion on TV.

That's right, a player stricken with a broken leg delayed surgery because he was more concerned about the outcome of his team's game. Now that is dedication. Trinity coach Steve Lineweaver told the Morning News that Paipa watched his team's entire final-minute comeback drive, and he was undoubtedly relieved when Tevin Williams crossed the goal line as time expired for a memorable Trojans victory.

As soon as the game was over, Paipa was wheeled into surgery, which was deemed a success and has the junior back in high spirits. The safety was reportedly on the school's campus more than once this week while still recovering from the operation.

While he won't be able to watch his team on TV this week, something tells us he'll find a way to tune in on radio. This time he'll probably be a little more comfortable taking in the transmission, too.

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