LUFKIN, Tx (KLTV) - If there was one player Lufkin did not want to lose heading into the playoffs it would be senior wide receiver Ja’lynn Polk.
Polk landed awkwardly in the second quarter against Caney Creek this past Friday and suffered a broken collarbone.
The Texas Tech commit broke the news on Twitter this past Saturday.
For three years Polk has been a force on the Lufkin offense. With size to dominate defenders and strength to make big blocks downfield Polk was seen as one of the few on field leaders.
“You cannot replace him,” Head Coach Todd Quick said. “You have to play with 11 so we will find the next guy up. You cannot replace what he does on and off the field. Especially off the field with his leadership. There was no doubt he was all in all the time.”
The team will play Waller this week then either Sherman or John Tyler in the first round of the playoffs.
“He is mentally tough. He understand there are things that you cannot control. He made the same play 20 times in the season and nothing happened. As a player you have to play every play like it is your last and he did that.”
Despite having over 1,000 yards on the season, the Panthers do not lose as much as you might think with Polk out. Quarterback Jordan Moore has shown he can get the ball to anyone and run if he needs to. Kelton Wright and Christian Reggie have show promise as the receivers behind Polk. The running game has also picked up in recent weeks with Caleb Berry slowly improving as he gets healthier.