Habegger out for season with leg fracture

October 10, 2000

Bluffton College's 33-0 homecoming victory over Mount St. Joseph last Saturday turned out to be an expensive one as senior wide receiver Luke Habegger suffered a broken leg in the third quarter and will miss the remainder of the 2000 football season.

Habegger was on pace to break several BC single season receiving records. In the four and a half games he played in this season he caught a team-high 26 passes for 622 yards and six touchdowns.

While blocking during a running play, Habegger was rolled into by a Mount St. Joseph defender. He sustained two fractures, one a lateral malleous fracture and the other a fibural shaft fracture.

"While his foot was planted in the ground he was hit from the outside," said BC Head Athletic Trainer Phill Talavinia.

Bluffton team orthopedist Dr. Mark McDonald will perform the surgery Friday morning, October 13 at the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio in Lima.

"A plate and several screws will be put in to repair the fibural shaft fracture," said Talavinia. "It might heel without surgery, but that would open up the possibility to a serious arthritic condition later in life. Right now we have to make the leg as stable as possible."

Through the first four games Habegger averaged 148.0 yards receiving per game which led the Heartland Conference and ranked third in the country. His six touchdowns were tied with teammate Tyson Goings for most in the league. He also was an HCAC leader in punt returns.

Habegger was on pace to break several single-season receiving records set by 2000 BC graduate Eric Metz. Last season Metz caught 62 passes for 1,063 yards and eight touchdowns--all new BC records. Through the first four games Habegger was on pace to catch 60 passes for 1,480 yards and 15 touchdowns.

"With the surgery he should be able to make a complete recovery," said Talavinia noting that Habegger will have a three-month rehabilitation period following his surgery. "We are confident he'll be able to compete in the upcoming baseball season."

Habegger missed most of his junior season with a broken collarbone. He is a three-year starter in the outfield for the BC baseball squad.