Tanner Bays, Living Beyond Injury

By: 
Johnie J. Logue
Enterprise Staff
Tanner Bays, 
Living Beyond Injury
Lincoln’s Tanner Bays was two time All-State defensive lineman. He was recruited by several colleges and was probably going to sign with Missouri Valley. Head Coach Kevin LaFavor said he was his best player. Quarterback Jackson Beaman agreed.
Valley Catholic changed their game plan midway into the state championship game because of Tanner Bays.
Both Bays and Beaman were to play basketball and take a team that won 14 games to probably a 18-20 win season.
Beaman decided not to play and Bays, well, we are getting to that but first let’s listen to his coach Kevin LaFavor comment on his outstanding player”
Tanner is every coach’s dream. He is a monster on the field, where he punishes whoever has the ball or lines up across from him. He is big, strong, and very fast with the mindset to destroy anyone he comes in contact with. The thing with Tanner off the field he is a completely opposite, which makes him even better to be around. He is always having fun and very polite to adults and people around him. He is a great friend to his peers and an even better kid to be around. He is another once in a lifetime player and person and I will definitely miss him.”
Lincoln led Valley Catholic 21-14 at halftime. Valle got the ball to open the half and ran around the left side for some 15 yards. Bays went to make the tackle and was hit in the knee.The game stopped. Beaman and his teammates sat down.The longer they worked on him the more everyone knew it was bad.  Bays watched the rest of the game from the sidelines on crutches.
Bays commented ,  “I tore my ACL, MCL and meniscus, I hyperextended my knee and dislocated my knee cap. My doctor said it was the worst knee injury he had seen in 15 years.”
I interviewed him last week through the net.
Johnie- What sports did you play growing up?
  Tanner- My first sport I played was football. I’ve been playing football since I’ve been able to, but I really started loving football was when I lived in Clinton and a family down the street and they loved football and I went and watched one Chiefs game and I’ve loved them ever since. 
Johnie- Who influenced you?
Tanner- My greatest influence in football was Ray Lewis and Coach Lafavor. Ray is because he gave his all no matter what the situation is and I love that and the reason for Coach Lafavor is because he gave me the confidence that I can be as good as I want as long as I put my mind to it. 
Johnie- Tell me about life after the injury.
Tanner -My hurting my knee in the state championship really messed me up. Since I moved to Lincoln in the 7th grade I wanted to win a state championship in football for the people of Lincoln and when I got hurt this year I knew I was done but I didn’t want to accept the fact that my football career was done.  
Johnie- Coach LaFavor said you were his best player in front of you, me and Jackson Beaman. How did you feel about that ?
When Coach Lafavor said I was his best player it kinda surprised me. Jackson is one of the best players our class has ever seen and coach put me in front of him. But Jackson is the best team mate I’ve ever played with and I’m happy I got to played with him. In my opinion Jackson was a bigger key to our success this year than I was.
Johnie- What are you doing now?
Tanner- Now I’m just working and waiting to start working on the pipeline.
Johnie- Why was your class successful?
Tanner- My class was successful because we all loved sports and no matter what we were doing we wanted to win. 
Johnie - What are you favorites memories in football?
Tanner-My favorite memories in football are two different times. The first was when we made the state championship twice and the second was when I got a sack this year in the final four and everyone was going crazy and I felt like I was on top on the world.
Johnie- How does the knee feel now?
Tanner-Some days I feel like I could still play and other times it hurts to walk on it.
Well, we all feel for him and we pray his knee continues to heel. We wish him the best.

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