NORMAN — Fighting to maintain a slim lead late in a game that few gave it a chance to win, Norman North needed a way to extend the drive. Like he has done all year, coach Wade Standley turned to senior quarterback Peyton Gavras. And just like he has done all year, Gavras came through for the Timberwolves.
On Friday, Gavras will take the field to Tulsa Union to help lead his team in North’s first-ever Class 6A semifinals appearance.
It’s a long way from where Gavras was just over a year ago, when he was sitting on the sidelines, unsure of if or when he would be able to get back on the field.
The latest chapter in Gavras’ journey can be traced back to Sept. 16, 2011, in a Week 3 game against Westmoore. The junior signal-caller took a snap and sprinted outside. A Westmoore defender broke through the line and hit Gavras hard. He got back up slowly, trotted to the sideline, and moments later slumped to the ground. He didn’t return, and the concussion knocked Gavras out for the better part of the season.
The worst part of sitting was the nature of his injury. Concussions are notoriously difficult to predict, and there is no defined timetable for a return. That, and the fact that there aren’t always visible signs of a concussion, made it especially difficult, Gavras said.
“Last year was rough,” Gavras said. “It was an injury that only I could feel, and I didn’t know how long I would be out. After getting a spot on the field and then having to sit out, it wasn’t easy. But I wanted to prove to everybody that I could come back.”
And he did. Gavras returned to the field for North’s final regular-season game, where he found himself splitting time under center with Channing Meyer, who had quarterbacked the team in his absence.