Travell Johnson


Kierra O'leary, Staffer

While most senior football players are dreaming about their final season of high school football, senior linebacker Trevell Johnson is forced to put his football career on hold and overcome the adversity of injury. After Martin’s tough loss to Lake Travis, senior and University of Texas football commit Trevell Johnson made the difficult decision to sit out his senior season to have surgery to repair the damage of an ongoing hip injury. 

Johnson made a statement via Twitter to announce his decision.

“I will be forgoing my senior season due to an injury that requires surgery,” Johnson tweeted. “It is in my best interest to do what’s best for me right now and that is to focus on my physical health, school and future.”

The three-star inside linebacker had surgery to repair his hip Sept. 22. After trying alternatives such as physical therapy, stem cell injections, and steroid injections that weren’t improving his condition, Johnson said that he was a bit impatient and eventually decided on surgery. 

Sitting out your final season of high school football can be pretty emotional, especially when it’s because of things out of your control, like an injury. However, when discussing the emotions encompassed with sitting out his senior season, Johnson seemed surprisingly optimistic.

“I took it as a positive,” Johnson said. “It just gave me time to work on schoolwork, focus on myself really.”

Injury can definitely put a mental strain on athletes. Head football coach Bob Wager described what managing an injury is like.

“It’s a psychological battle,” Wager said.

With the loss of such a strong defensive player like Johnson, the Martin defense will rely on other players to step up. Linebacker coach Reid Pride describes what it was like to lose Johnson. 

“We’ve always had the mindset of ‘next man up’ if something does happen,” Pride said. “While it’s tough to lose a two-year starter and a great player, we didn’t skip a beat in trying to find the best guy for that spot.”

With Johnson gone, senior Jonathan Okate holds the starting position of inside linebacker and hopes to make the best of his opportunity. 

Fellow defensive player and Stanford University commit senior Ernest Cooper IV had plenty of good things to say about his teammate Johnson. 

“Having a guy that’s in there making plays left and right, not only a leader in the locker room but a leader in the team, losing that, it’s very detrimental, especially to the team chemistry,” Cooper said.

Both head Wager and Pride said they agree that Trevell Johson is destined for greatness and are excited to see what his future looks like. Johnson will join fellow linebacker and Martin alumni Morice Blackwell at the University of Texas under new Longhorn head coach Steve Sarkisian. 

Photo by Mikayla Erlandsen