Trevor Wikre had about 45 minutes to decide. Would it be football or his finger?
His pinkie never stood a chance.
“There wasn’t too much thought to it,” Wikre said. “It was a simple decision.”
That’s because football is in his blood. The finger was merely attached to his right hand.
Doctors told him they could operate and, with luck, he would regain some use of the finger in four or five months.
He told them to cut it off.
“There are worse things in the world,” Wikre said. “A pinkie is not that bad in my mind.”
Wikre was back in his usual spot on the offensive line Thursday night, playing every snap when Mesa State College took on rival Western State College in front of 3,808 fans at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction, Colo. Two weeks after severely fracturing his finger in practice, his only concession to the missing digit was a soft cast covering his right hand.
The Mavericks rallied in the second half to win 29-19 as Wikre, a preseason all-conference pick, adjusted to having to protect his quarterback without being able to use his hands the way he did before.
Lest you think that his coach, Joe Ramunno, is some kind of overbearing coach who pushed his senior lineman into playing with no worry about his missing finger, consider this:
Ramunno is missing a pinkie, too. Sliced it off 29 years ago in high school shop class, then told his doctors not to worry about trying to reattach it. Ten days later he was playing in a football game for Steamboat Springs High.
“I understand that some people see it totally differently than I did or Trevor did,” Ramunno said. “But if they were around him and understand what we both were doing, I think they would see. Football is that kind of a game.”
Wikre couldn’t stand missing the final games of his career.
“It’s going to be tough to know you’re done and everything is over,” Wikre said. “That’s always been tough.”
Wikre made his decision to amputate so quickly that he never discussed it with his coach. By the time Ramunno got to the hospital, Wikre was coming out of surgery.
“This has brought up all kind of memories and I’ve been joking with Trevor about it,” Ramunno said.