BOONE — Watauga running back Bryce Satterfield and Watauga head football coach Ryan Habich got the official word on the extent of Satterfield’s knee. The news was not good.
An MRI done on Satterfield’s right knee showed that he has a tear in the MCL and the ACL. Satterfield will likely be out for the rest of the season, and he is scheduled to have surgery to repair the damage on Sept. 26.
Satterfield was originally diagnosed with a torn MCL and ACL during the game, but had the MRI done to be sure.
“I knew it was going to be an ACL or worse,” Satterfield said. “When I got back up I heard it was the MCL also, so it was worse than I actually thought it was going to be.”
Satterfield was covering a kickoff against visiting Wilkes Central when he was blocked in his knee. A blocking below the waist penalty was called, but Satterfield stayed on the ground.
Satterfield said he plans to do rehab soon after his surgery. He will have the surgery done locally and will stay in Boone for the remainder of the school year. Satterfield moved back to Boone from Louisville, Ky., after moving there with his family.
Watauga had already planned for Satterfield not to play this season when he moved to Louisville. Tight end Jake Watson was moved to running back, and the Pioneers adjusted their offense to suit Watson’s skills as a blocker and a fullback-type runner.
Watson scored a touchdown in Watauga’s win over Wilkes Central.
“They already prepared for me not to be here, so they’ll be fine,” Satterfield said. “Jake Watson came in and played really well.”
Satterfield said he’s anticipating that the injury will also keep him from playing basketball at Watauga. It’s a big disappointment for Satterfield, who was also going to run track at Watauga, where he was a state 3-A qualifier in the 400-meter run in 2019.
“It definitely (stinks), but I’m going to have to get used to it, walking around on crutches a lot,” he said. “I’ll have to get back as soon as I can.”
Satterfield said he has no regrets when it comes to moving back to Boone. He returned with his mom, Beth, while his sister Alli and brother Isaac stayed with their father Scott, who accepted the position of head football coach at the University of Louisville.
“I didn’t think that anything like this would happen,” Bryce said. “It’s just bad that it happened.”
Habich named Satterfield as one of the Pioneers’ captains. Satterfield and Watauga’s other captains will meet with the captains of the Pioneers’ opponents at the 50-yard line for the coin toss the rest of the season.
Satterfield, outside of offering advice to his teammates when needed during practice, also has a unique task with the team.
“I’ll make the music playlist for every practice,” he said. “That’s something I like to do.”
Satterfield said his parents were not pleased with the injury, but know that injuries happen in football.
“My dad said that’s why they have penalties,” Bryce said. “You don’t chop block. My mom was upset too. It’s just something I have to come back from and get better.”