Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.)
will have to try to achieve a third straight Arizona Class 5A Division I state football championship without its best player.
Five-star offensive tackle Christian Westerman
, a University of Texas commit, suffered small fractures in both vertical bones below his left knee when he got hit on the side of the leg in practice on Monday. Hamilton coach Steve Belles said the team is holding out slim hopes that Westerman could return for the state championship on Dec. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, should the Huskies (11-0) advance that far.
Belles said Westerman is currently in a walking boot after an MRI revealed the fractures. Surgery will not be necessary.
"We'll rally around this injury and Christian," Belles said. "But it's too bad for him because he's such a great kid. The first thing he told his mom after he found out was 'I've got to get out there and help the kids who are going to be taking my place so they know what they're doing.'"
Westerman is listed by several scouting services as one of the five best senior recruits in the nation. The 6-foot-5, 295-pound All-American has been the anchor of an Huskies offensive line that many longtime Arizona prep observers believe is the best in the state's history.
Top-seeded Hamilton opens the 5A-I playoffs Friday at home against 16th-seeded Westwood (Mesa, Ariz.).Click here to view MaxPreps' Arizona football playoff brackets.