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'Center' of attention: Hiett doesn't let broken hand stop his game
Matt Tomjack
Guest Writer
Photo by Garrett Ritonya
Jack Hiett of Arvada, Colo., prepares to snap the football inside the red-zone during the third quarter of Saturday's 24-12 win over Colorado School of Mines. Hiett's right hand is encased in a soft cast while he continues to snap with his left. Hiett is almost perfect in using his left hand since the injury.

We all feel pain. Jack Hiett does not, or at least it doesn’t stop his game.

On Sept. 26 when Chadron State came to face our Lopers, Hiett plowed a defensive lineman to the ground and broke his hand. “I broke the bone in my right hand that is in line with my middle finger. I broke it right before halftime on a pass play.  I’m not exactly sure what happened, but it just snapped.  It ended up being a spiral fracture,” Hiett said.

Hiett, a senior construction management major from Arvada, Colo., plays center for the Loper football team. As a center, Hiett snaps the ball with his right hand. But, not anymore. “I had to learn to snap with my left hand on the fly so didn’t really have time to think about it. It’s not too hard. I just had to concentrate and let it fly,” Hiett said.

Hiett’s broken hand is not causing him any problems, but it’s a force to be dealt with on the field. Before every game, the trainers wrap his cast with padding and tape. In the end, his hand resembles a club—an intimidating and useful weapon.

“I never really thought about the option of not playing. In the locker room after I broke it, I tried snapping with my right, and there was no way I was going to snap with my right. Coach Morris told me to try lefty, and I did. The first few were pretty ugly, but I eventually got it figured out,” Hiett said.

Hiett has been near perfect since his incident and is slowly becoming more productive with his left hand. “Before I broke my hand, I never was able to do anything with my left, but now I can snap with it, and I can throw a football lefty pretty good. I’m pretty proud about that,” Hiett added with a laugh.

The Lopers, now 9-1 and RMAC champions, have been unstoppable since the devastating loss the first game of the season. Hiett, the anchor of the offensive line, is the first one to pass on the credit of this incredible season. “I am proud of all of my teammates and coaches.  Everyone is working really hard, and we all want the season to continue into the postseason. We are really gelling together and being such a tight group helps us on the field.”

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