By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

While he’s still weeks away from returning to the football field, McNary senior Wyatt Sherwood was standing on the sideline Friday and back at school on Monday.

Sherwood suffered a neck injury and concussion run blocking at West Linn on Friday, Sept. 7. Early in the third quarter, Sherwood had his defender on the ground when McNary running back Junior Walling was tackled into him, bending his head back.

“You can’t really see it on film but that’s how we’re presuming it happened,” Sherwood said. “I think I kind of blacked out a little bit because I can’t really remember much of that play. There was some pain in my neck but a lot of numbness. My legs felt a little different. I couldn’t move them at first but then I could. When they stood me up, my extremities all went numb and that’s what really kind of scared me.”

Sherwood was carted off the field, placed in an ambulance and taken to Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, where it was determined he had swelling in his C5, 6 and 7 vertebrae and spinal canal. After spending Friday night at the hospital, he was released Saturday at 5 p.m.

Sherwood tried to go to school the following Tuesday.

“I didn’t really do well because the lights really hurt,” Sherwood said. “I had a pretty good concussion at that time.”

A week later, Sherwood was feeling much better.

Sherwood has always been a lineman, although an undersized one. He played offensive tackle at 185 pounds last season.

“I had to prove myself there against some big guys, some 300 pound guys,” Sherwood said. “It was difficult but I held my own.”

With the goal of getting up to 220, Sherwood spent the offseason in the weight room and eating more protein. By the start of this season, Sherwood, who also grew two inches, weighed in at 245.

“I’m bigger and stronger. I feel faster,” Sherwood said. “I can hold my own against guys and I can take guys, too.”

Sherwood, who also plays on the defensive line for the Celtics, looks forward to returning to the field.

“I plan on coming back sometime,” he said. “I’m thinking two weeks from now, maybe less. I’m not sure yet. It will be kind of different. I might be a little more cautious with things than I was before. I might not use my head as much as I used to. I’ll be wearing a cowboy collar to keep my head from going back again like that to prevent that injury again.”