Contois Working on Shrine Bowl Return from ACL Tear

Published 07/31 2014 05:50PM

Updated 07/31 2014 06:40PM

Castleton, VT -- The last time we saw Tanner Contois on a football field he was watching his South Burlington Rebels fall in the VPA Division I state championship game to Middlebury. The 2013 Vermont Gatorade Player of the Year tore his ACL early in the title game at Rutland and could not return.

Now he's back on the field suited up and practicing with full participation for Team Vermont at the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl training camp at Castleton State College. 

"This is a great opportunity to come be with my friends again." Contois said Monday between practices. "Be with kids from different parts of the state and just try to learn how to play football again."

South Burlington's prolific running back devoted himself to his rehab throughout the school year with his collegiate football career at Middlebury College in mind but he's close enough to give it a shot at Saturday's Shrine game.

"We're kind of taking it practice by practice." said Contois. "I've talked with coach and you know, I haven't played football since that night I tore my ACL. After surgery, everything is new. Walking is new. Taking a turn down the hallway is new. Sitting down is new. Football is a lot of things combined. It's going to take awhile for me to figure things out."

It was hard for Contois to watch the opponent celebrate last November knowing there was nothing he could do to help but his dedication throughout rehab had little to do with the title game loss.

"You don't miss winning, you miss playing. So that's what I miss the most." Contois said. "I use that as motivation to get back and start doing what I love in a safe way."

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