The sound could be heard by players and fans who were at the Academy Sports Complex on Saturday. It was a scream that signaled this wasn’t just a minor injury.
On the first play in the second half of an APSU Football intrasquad scrimmage, junior defensive back Bradford Wilmer was involved in defending a run. Even though Wilmer wasn’t in on the tackle, his lower leg moved awkwardly on the play, and laid on his back for a long period of time. An ambulance arrived to carry him to the local hospital as he raised a hand to the crowd while being on the stretcher.
Coaches and players gathered in a huddle to pray for their teammate, and immediately began taking off shoulder pads while wiping away tears. Everyone on hand understood that this scrimmage could not go on, and the Govs finished up with sprints on the opposite side of the field before leaving in buses.
No diagnosis on the injury has been announced at this time.
“It’s very difficult to overcome those obvious injuries that are that traumatic,” head coach Kirby Cannon said. “Our kids felt good about us not practicing after that. Brad is a tough kid and they got him to the hospital, so we’ll see what the extent of that is.”
Wilmer, a native of Millington, Tenn., was in the number two defensive group. In 2012, Wilmer grabbed his first career interception against Culver-Stockton, and played in five games that season.
“We mixed the defensive units up today so we wouldn’t have four freshmen out there at the same time,” Cannon said. “It’s normal in football. You’re going to lose guys. You don’t want to lose any, but you try to build your depth all season long. Somebody will step up and take his job, and it will be a great opportunity for them. But of course, we’ll keep Brad in our thoughts.”
The lone score of the scrimmage came on a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Ladarrious Wimbley, which was set up by running back Otis Gerron. Even though it ended sooner than expected, all groups got some work in with young players showing improvements.
Photo: APSU players gather to pray following injury (Corey Adams/The All State)