In terms of his athletic endeavors, Joe Worth had never dealt with anything as difficult as he did in May.
When time came for Newsome High to hit the field for spring workouts, Worth was stuck standing on the sidelines. Still recovering from surgeries on his left knee (lateral collateral ligament tear) and right shoulder (torn labrum), Worth couldn't participate.
"The hardest part was just sitting around watching my teammates go through it and knowing that all I could do was get them water," he said.
Through it all, however, a positive emerged. The time off aided a renewed drive and appreciation for the game he has always loved.
"I think that really helped me because I feel like I've never worked harder," said Worth, who is looking forward to making up for lost time in his senior season. "It's something that you don't know what you've got until it's gone, and you don't know how much you really miss it until you have to sit out there and watch and not be able to participate with your brothers on the team."
Newsome coach Ken Hiscock doesn't mince words when it comes to Worth, who he calls the quintessential captain.
"Joe Worth is what I want Newsome to be represented as," Hiscock said. "As far as character, leadership ability (and) work ethic, the things that he does on and off the field are just unbelievable."
A healthy Worth will be a welcomed addition back to the Newsome huddle. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound defensive standout, who also sees some time on offense at tight end, has earned the reputation as one of the area's top linebackers.
Worth finished third on the team in 2009 with 58 tackles and earned first-team All-Western Conference honors from the county's coaches despite missing four games with injuries. As a sophomore, he finished fourth on the team in tackles (71) and third in sacks (six).
Now entering his third season as a starter, many people within the Wolves program believe Worth is setting up for his finest season. Worth wants to lead the Wolves, district champions each of the past two seasons, to the next level.
"That's what this year is all about," he said.
STADIUM: Newsome Stadium, 16550 FishHawk Blvd., Lithia
CLASS-DISTRICT: 5A-6 (with Bloomingdale, Durant, Plant City and Riverview)
COACH: Ken Hiscock (27-14, fifth season)
LAST SEASON: 7-3
Sept. 3: at Armwood
Sept. 10: Jefferson
Sept. 16: at Alonso
Sept. 24: Plant City
Oct. 1: Blake
Oct. 8: Robinson
Oct. 15: at Leto
Oct. 22: Bloomingdale
Oct. 29: at Riverview
Nov. 5: at Durant
No.NamePos.Ht.Wt.Yr.1Jakarquisa HarrisWR5-8143Sr.2Dalton NicholsDB6-1165So.3Royce EasleyDB6-1170Jr.4Legion RhodesRB5-8155So.5Aaron WadeDB6-2164Fr.6Dylan McGrathTE6-2152Sr.7Bryan WestQB5-11148Jr.8Keller PowersRB5-10175Jr.9Vince PenningtonRB6-1185Sr.10Joe WorthLB6-2210Sr.11Joe HennlleyDB5-8140Sr.12Conner PowersFB5-10215Sr.14Kyle StallingsDB6-0160Jr.15Will WorthLB6-0185So.16Zach BillinghamDB5-10155Sr.17Will BurnhamQB6-0162Sr.18William JessieWR6-2165Jr.19Harold GussmanK5-10135Sr.20Jorge ThompsonDB5-10165Jr.22Stephen MartinWR6-1165Jr.25Tyler HuntsingerTE6-2185Sr.26Tourre AllenDB5-7147Jr.28Jacob VanlandinghamDL6-1205 Sr.30Tony ZaccarioK5-11153Sr.34Jacques BraggsLB6-2175So.36Mitch SimmonsDL6-0165Jr.44Dre MatthewsLB5-10215Sr.45Paul ZanerLB5-10175Jr.46Christian DurantDL5-10252Sr.48Fletcher ComerLB6-0215Jr.50Chase HammockLB6-0205Sr.51Cody SummerlinDL6-2185Jr.52Sterling RasmussenDL6-0215Jr.54Josh AdamsOL6-1222Sr.56Zach BotkinOL5-11260Jr.58Josh WhiteOL6-3261Sr.60Tyler GuiltOL5-11217Sr.62Cole RectorDL6-0225Sr.63Josh GroganOL5-10275Sr.64Bubba EdwardsOL5-8180Jr.66Carson JoinerOL6-0215Jr.67Ricky RehartDL6-2210Sr.70Keith WeeksOL6-2215Jr.72Johnathan NewmanOL6-3260Sr.74Reid PatrickDL6-0210Sr.75Dylan DippoldDL6-1215Jr.77Langley JacksonDL6-0255Sr.80Trevor ChiricoDB5-10100Jr.81Tyler RackcliffWR5-10155Jr.84Alex ScholesDL6-1210Sr.