Matanzas junior Jordan Mills was hoping to win a state wrestling championship this year. But that goal will have to wait for his senior season.
Mills underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to repair ligaments in his right shoulder on Thursday, Feb. 9, and is expected to be out of action for at least six months.
That means the three-sport star will also miss track and field season and all of the off-season activities for football, including spring and summer workouts and preseason camp. He hopes to be cleared in time to play in the first game of the 2023 season.
But Pirates football coach Matt Forrest said they won't rush the defensive back/wide receiver onto the field.
"The No. 1 thing on our minds is we're doing right for Jordan's future, because he's got a bright future when he leaves here," Forrest said. "When he's ready to compete safely, we'll put him out there."
I feel everything happens for a reason. The only thing we can control is attitude. So I try to keep a good attitude. — Jordan Mills
Mills, who watched his sister, Mariah, win a district wrestling title on Feb. 8, was optimistic about his surgery the next day.
"I feel everything happens for a reason," he said. "The only thing we can control is attitude. So I try to keep a good attitude."
Mills originally dislocated his shoulder during football practice in October. Hoping to avoid surgery, he had his shoulder immobilized and sat out the rest of football season and the beginning of wrestling season.
He finished second in the 170-pound class at the Class 2A state championships last season, matching his brother, Tyson, a senior last year who also finished second at state.
Hoping to take the next step this season, Jordan Mills returned to the mat on Jan. 7 for the Marine Corps Challenge tournament in Jacksonville. He won 14 matches without a loss heading into the 170-pound final at the Flagler Rotary tournament on Jan. 27 at Flagler Palm Coast.
But he dislocated the shoulder again in the title match against undefeated Elijah Penton of Winter Springs. The match was supposed to be a preview of this year's state final.
Mills had a torn labrum as well as an uncommon humeral avulsion glenohumeral ligament lesion, know as a HAGL lesion.
Rachel Mills, Jordan's mother, said the surgery lasted longer than expected, but the doctor said the repairs matched up nicely.
"We're very pleased about that," she said.
Jordan Mills said he had wanted to finish wrestling season but his doctor told him he was almost guaranteed to dislocate the shoulder again and suffer additional damage if it wasn't repaired.
"It's better for him and his family's peace of mind that it is reconstructed and fixed correctly," Forrest said. "He's going to have a lot of options when he leaves (Matanzas), because he's not only a talented athlete, he's great academically and he's a great kid."