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Iowa recruit, R-S senior Twedt suffers dislocated shoulder

Joe Randleman
Ames Tribune
Roland-Story senior Zach Twedt is in good spirits during his ambulance ride to Mason City after suffering a dislocated shoulder in the Norsemen football team's 15-0 loss at Forest City Friday. The injury likely ended Twedt's playing career, but he still has a lot to look forward to as an Iowa recruit getting ready to join the Hawks this upcoming winter.

With around two minutes left in Roland-Story’s 15-0 loss at Forest City Friday night, Norsemen senior running back Zach Twedt took a hit that sent a sharp ripple of pain through his shoulder.

The Norsemen had the ball and were desperately trying for a score to keep their hopes of a comeback victory alive.

Quarterback Luke Patton found Twedt on an arrow route. Twedt caught the ball on the left side and instantly found himself surrounded by three Forest City players.

One of the Indian players came in and delivered a high blow to Twedt’s upper body.

“His helmet just hit me perfectly in the shoulder that it knocked it out,” Twedt said. “I knew something was wrong right away. I laid there on the ground and I just couldn’t move it. It did hurt quite a bit, especially when our trainers tried to pop it back in. That led to me wailing in pain.”

As he was being tended to, Twedt was hit with a sudden realization. 

“After a little while I just began to cry,” Twedt said. “Not because of the pain, but because the fact that I was scared this was the way my career was going to end.”

Twedt had to be taken off to the hospital in an ambulance. His teammates stood watching, feeling heartbroken and helpless as their leader was being taken away — maybe having worn a Norse uniform for the last time.

“Zach has been my best friend since I moved here in fifth grade,” Roland-Story senior Jimmy Philipsen said. “Seeing him laying on the field — and there was nothing I could do — was devastating.”

Twedt was taken to a hospital in Mason City. He took some X-rays and found out some good news — his shoulder was not separated, just dislocated.

“After about 25-30 minutes the doctor was able to get my shoulder popped back into place,” Twedt said. “Next thing you know I was out the door.”

But his playing days at Roland-Story are likely over.

“The hardest part about the visit was getting the news that my career at Roland-Story is most likely over,” Twedt said. “With me graduating early to Iowa City, I will not be competing in basketball this year.”

Roland-Story head football coach Matt Finn said no one could’ve handled the situation any better than Twedt.

“I am so proud of how Zach handled himself through a difficult situation Friday,” Finn said. “You never wish a situation like this on anyone, but I am confident in Zach. He will maintain optimism and do what is in his control on the path to a full recovery.” 

Twedt is a highly sought-after Division 1 football recruit. He originally verbaled to Iowa State, but later switched to Iowa. He joked that enabled him to get through the ambulance drive from Forest City to Mason City.

“It did help that two of my paramedics were Hawkeye fans,” Twedt said. “Even though I had continued to get more doses of drugs, I still managed to have some nice conversations with them all the way to Mason City.”

If he can’t make it back on the football field this fall, Twedt wants to be in top shape when he arrives in Iowa City this winter. 

“As to recovery, I am going to figure that out today,” Twedt said. “I will be going to be meeting with doctors this morning and maybe having my MRI as well.”

Twedt will likely redshirt his first year at Iowa regardless of how fast he recovers from the shoulder injury. His current coach said the sky's the limit for Twedt once he steps onto campus in Iowa City.

“His future's so bright and his athleticism really is such a small part of that - as crazy as that sounds,” Finn said. “He’s an incredible human being who is always thinking about other people. He’s got a lot of people who love him in his corner too.”

As for Roland-Story, it will be tough to replace a guy that was his district’s Defensive MVP for skill position players last year after making 113.5 tackles in nine games. He also led Roland-Story in rushing this season on offense.

The loss of Zach Twedt, pictured here on a run against Forest City on Friday, will be difficult for the Roland-Story football team to overcome. Twedt suffered a dislocated shoulder during Friday's game and will likely miss the remainder of the season.

But the Norsemen will do whatever they can to make their captain proud.

“Moving forward is going to take a lot of growth in leadership and people ready to step up,” Phillipsen said. “I truly believe that our coaches will put us in the right positions to be successful. There is no doubt in my mind that Zach will be at every practice to coach us up as well.”