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Oklahoma All-State Football 2018: Tuttle's Dylan Coffman overcomes shoulder injuries to lead to way to title

Ibuprofen and two shoulder braces.

That's the remedy Tuttle senior linebacker Dylan Coffman used each game this season. With two bum shoulders, it was the only way he was getting through four quarters of delivering punishing blows.

It sounds miserable and perhaps dangerous. But it was worth it.

“I want the end result that happened this year,” Coffman said. “Afterward, I get to heal.”

In a year of memorable seasons around the state, none may be wilder than Coffman's journey to lead Tuttle to the Class 4A state championship.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior tore a muscle in one shoulder in the opening game. He did the same to the other shoulder a week later.

And he never missed a game.

He still finished with nearly 125 tackles, multiple sacks and three turnovers. His efforts earned him a selection on The Oklahoman's All-State first team.

“It's unbelievable,” Tuttle coach Brad Ballard said. “He loved to play football. He loved Friday nights. He loved walking out there and battling. Most kids would get discouraged and say they had enough. I'm sure that crossed his mind, but it meant a lot to him to be out there with his teammates.”

Coffman expected to have surgery following the season. It would be his third and fourth on his shoulders. He also had a torn meniscus at the end of his junior season.

That's why he won't play collegiately. Instead, he's focused on becoming a police officer, like his father who works for the Grady County Sherriff's Department.

“I want to be able to grab something when I'm 30,” Coffman said. “I want to be able to go hunting when I'm 30. I want to be able to live life still.

“I love football and I would never change what I've done, but I think it's time for me to be done.”

It's actually a relief for Coffman.

He spent the better part of the past few years hoping to be healthy. Ballard wanted his star linebacker to get a chance to be at full strength in the offseason workout programs.

But that never happened.

“You just get used to Dylan being hurt,” Ballard said. “Him and his mom and dad and all of his family wanted him to play high school football, and he was bound and determined to finish it. So, we weren't going to stop him.

“I don't think there was anything life threatening about it. He wanted to lay it out there every Friday. Every kind of preventative brace or preventative medicine we could find we had on him. I think his arms were tied to his side about half the time.”

Coffman said he never felt pain during a game. He didn't allow his mind to worry about it.

His focus was delivering a gold ball trophy back to the community that waited more than a decade since its last.

It was the best way to end a career.

“I don't play for myself,” Coffman said. “I play for my family, for my team and for my coaches. It was just something special.”

Related Photos
<p>Tuttle's Dylan Coffman is a member of The Oklahoman's All-State football team. [Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman]</p>

Tuttle's Dylan Coffman is a member of The Oklahoman's All-State football team. [Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-0a917a55f0417bcc2f11bd2ff0033897.jpg" alt="Photo - Tuttle's Dylan Coffman is a member of The Oklahoman's All-State football team. [Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman] " title=" Tuttle's Dylan Coffman is a member of The Oklahoman's All-State football team. [Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Tuttle's Dylan Coffman is a member of The Oklahoman's All-State football team. [Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Jacob Unruh

Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the... Read more ›

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