BOISE-- With the state lacrosse championship just five days away, four teams have their eyes on the trophy going into the semi-final matchups on Wednesday. One team recently got an unexpected surprise back that could help their chances.
For the last two months, Bishop Kelly senior Andrew Spangler has been forced to watch his team from the sideline.
"It's frustrating watching from the sidelines," Spangler said.
The captain for the Knights lacrosse team, Spangler plays an integral role on the squad.
"He does some incredible things on the field that gets everybody excited," Bishop Kelly head coach Blake Gaudet said. "Just his presence out there, I think, gives everybody else confidence."
However, the Knights have had to play without their captain for most of the season.
"It was late in the game, early in the fourth quarter. I just made a bad cut, felt a pop, and had to limp off the field. I knew something was going wrong," Spangler said.
In a game against Centennial early in the season, Spangler injured his right knee. He returned to the game and scored the winning goal. But when he went to the doctor a week later, something was wrong.
"I went in and got an MRI, and they found out that I tore my meniscus."
The torn cartilage was operated on, and after six weeks of rehabilitation, the captain was able to return to the playing field.
"More than anything, it's just a huge emotional boost for us to have him back," Gaudet said. "We couldn't get him back at a better time than now."
In his first game back from injury, Spangler contributed four goals in a victory over Capital. Now he will look to repeat that effort against the team that he injured himself against, Centennial.
"They're a really good team. It's been a big rivalry for a long time," Spangler said. "Obviously, it was a very competitive match the first time that we faced them, and we're hoping for the same now."
The Knights and the Patriots will face each other in the semis on Wednesday at Bishop Kelly.