High School Football: Guyer back for Shawnee after leg injury

SPRINGFIELD — Max Guyer thought his football playing days were over.

Last October, the Shawnee High School running back/linebacker broke his leg when a teammate collided with him as they were both attempting to make a tackle in the first half of the Braves first round playoff game against Purcell Marian in Cincinnati.

“It was awful,” said Braves coach Rick Meeks. “It was terrible. I felt really bad for him. He was having a great game too. It was just an unfortunate accident.”

As he was carted off the field, Guyer wondered if he would ever play football again.

“I was told on the field when it happened I probably wasn’t going to be able to play again,” Guyer said. “It turned out to be a better injury than it could’ve been.”

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Less than a year later, Guyer is starring for the 3-1 Braves. The senior has rushed for 223 yards and three TDs on 23 carries — an average of 9.7 yards per carry. Defensively, Guyer has 13 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack.

“He’s been one of our guys for the last four years, guys we know we can count on,” Meeks said. “If you want to win, you have to have guys like that. He’s all in, he’s going to be here and you can count on him in the offseason. He’s a football guy and wants to do well. He’s doing it because he loves it. Those are the guys that you build programs around.”

Guyer is one of three brothers to all play for the Braves football program. He grew up playing in the backyard with his older brothers Michael, a 2017 grad, and Matt, a 2019 grad.

“Both of my brothers went through here and were really good athletes,” Max Guyer said. “I grew up loving the game and watching college football. I love it.”

After suffering the injury last season, he wanted to do whatever it took to put on his Braves uniform for one more year. He performed physical therapy for six months, hoping for another chance.

“The beginning was pretty scary thinking I’ll never play again,” Max Guyer said. “It was a lot of physical therapy, listening to the doctor and the weight room. … My teammates played a big part in it. They were always by my side when I needed them.”

Guyer was cleared to play last spring and spent the summer getting ready for the season with his teammates.

“Once I got back to playing my game, I’m starting to feel normal now,” Max Guyer said.

In Week 2 against Eaton, Guyer suffered another leg injury, forcing him to leave the game. The injury also brought back memories from last year’s playoff game.

“That’s the first thing that went through my mind,” Max Guyer said. “I thought it was the same injury and that I was done for the season.”

A few days later, Guyer was diagnosed with a kneecap injury and returned to practice the following Thursday. He played against Graham the next night.

“It was definitely a relief,” Guyer said.

In the first four weeks of the season, opponents have been stacking the box to take Guyer away, Meeks said, which has opened up the Braves passing attack. In last week’s game against Indian Lake, Guyer rushed for 142 yards and three TDs on six carries, including a 91-yard TD run.

“In the first few games, teams have been loading up against us and we’ve been throwing the ball,” Meeks said. “We’ve had success throwing the ball. We were able to run the ball on Friday. Even statistically when he’s not doing well, he’s doing well.”

Guyer and the Braves hope to win the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division title before Shawnee moves to the CBC Mad River next fall. Shawnee hasn’t won the CBC title since 2011, meaning Guyer would have something to brag about to his brothers at home.

“It would mean everything,” he said. “I just love the team and love the program.”

WEEK 5 SCHEDULE

Friday’s Games

All games begin at 7 p.m.

Springfield at Beavercreek

Catholic Central at West Jefferson

Northeastern at Southeastern

Greenon at Triad

Tecumseh at Benjamin Logan

Shawnee at Northwestern

Kenton Ridge at Urbana

Mechanicsburg at Greeneview

Cedarville at West Liberty-Salem

London at Graham

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