POSTED: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 4:33pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 4:39pm
BATON ROUGE, LA — Baton Rouge native Calob Leindecker suffered an injury earlier this year that cut his dreams short of competing on the US Paralympics Snowboarding team. His vision was to make the national team and compete at the 2014 Sochi games in Russia. But a broken femur wouldn’t allow that to happen.
“I decided I just wanted to come back and relax a little bit and get back to coaching,” Leindecker said.
It was the same leg that was partially amputated roughly five years before. That accident in 2008 stopped his playing days on the football field much earlier than he had wished.
“It's sad to say but it is almost normal now. It's something I'm used to and adversity will come through all of us and it's how you bounce back and get back up that shows the character. I will stay strong and keep fighting,” he said.
Now, Leindecker’s back in Baton Rouge and once again roaming the sidelines. This time he’s doing the teaching.
“I love the game so much and I want to be a part of it. My dad was a coach and this is what I really want to do,” the former Parkview player said before an afternoon practice with his new team. He joined head coach Guy Mistretta’s staff this summer and coaches running backs and safeties.
“They were curious but he is such a good coach and such a great communicator that's all they see right now. I remember the experience when he had to fight to get back. Just to have a guy with those experiences what a motivation to our kids and our staff as well,” Mistretta said.
Leindecker went up against Mistretta in his freshman and senior years at Parkview. Mistretta was coaching at Redemptorist then. Today the duo is working together.
“He's a great man and a great person to coach under. He's been an inspiration to me and he gave me a lot of responsibility and I am loving it,” Leindecker said of Mistretta who enters his third year as the coach of the Dunham program.
“At some point he will share his story but now he is just any other coach and he is going to be a really good one,” Mistretta said referring to the most recent hire to his staff.
The Dunham Tigers went 5-5 last season. This year they’ll open the season against St. Stanislaus (Mississippi) on September 6.