BILLINGS — Last year was the hardest thing Jadyn Hoff’s ever done.
“I missed last year a lot, and watching from the sidelines just didn’t help," the Billings West senior lineman said.
Sure, missing football season was tough, but it’s the reason he missed it that was the toughest.
“My freshman year I injured my labrum, and then start of summer going into junior year, I got an infection in my arm," Hoff said. "The infection just wiped all the muscle and all the stuff I did for it completely out, so it was a new beginning for it. It was just nothing I’ve ever dealt with.”
Doctors told Hoff it would be at least a six-month recovery, but there he was competing by the state wrestling tournament.
“I would say most of society, most kids would be done after two major surgeries like that in less than a year," said West head football coach Rob Stanton.
“There was definitely pain in it. With wrestling you get put in a lot weird positions with the arms," Hoff added. "There’s definitely always a worry of tearing everything again. If I tear it out again it’s done, but there’s nothing I can do about it, so I just have to keep going.”
It’s a fighter’s mentality from someone you wouldn’t expect to have it by just watching him in everyday life.
"Jaydn’s a pretty quiet kid. He doesn’t complain, he doesn’t say much regardless of whether he feels good, feels bad," Stanton said. "Sometimes we like to put an inspirational quote up, but we fail to follow inspirational people. We say that at the end of practice: If you want to know how to do it, point at Jaydn as an example, that’s how you do it.”
He showed the next generation of Bears every day this summer.
“He would lift from 6-7:30 a.m., then we had our freshmen come lift at noon, and he was one of eight people that was there every day in the summer helping the freshmen out," Stanton said of Hoff's commitment. "To me, that’s a major part of leadership, not only doing it -- talking and walking it -- but the final piece is you’re giving something back.”
Hoff is paying it forward, because he knows this senior year is a second chance.
“It was a completely new start, not just for my shoulder, but for me," Hoff said, "realizing it can all be taken away right away like that."