It has been a while since Joe Kenney has played a down of competitive football.
You have to go back to the fall of 2010, his senior season at Legacy High School.
Ankle injuries, transfers and just plain luck have kept the former Lightning linebacker off the field and struggling to find a football identity.
Next month, Kenney will try and resurrect a collegiate football career that has been stuck in the mud while playing for coach John L. Smith and his improving Fort Lewis Skyhawks.
“I’m excited to go back up there and play for coach Smith, who has had the experience that he has,” Kenney said.
A series of unfortunate events has Kenney champing at the bit to get back out on the field and show he still has it. After breaking his ankle in his senior season at Legacy, he healed in time for fall camp at Colorado Mesa.
Upon his arrival in Grand Junction, Kenney broke the same ankle again and missed another season.
“That was basically two full seasons and then I quit playing,” Kenney said. “Then my brother graduated and went up to Fort Lewis and he got me to go up there and make another run at the football thing and then on the last day of fall camp I hurt my other ankle.”
Unfortunately, Joe Kenney won’t get that chance to play with his brother one more time. Garrett Kenney, who was on the Skyhawks roster last season as a redshirt freshman, is exploring other football opportunities away from Durango.
Joe Kenney will give it a go this fall, but knows he will have to do so via hard work and the desire to get better. During spring ball, the Skyhawks tested his mettle by working the 6-foot, 215-pound linebacker/lineman inside at nose tackle.
That raised a few internal eyebrows for Joe Kenney, but he took it with a grain of salt and is willing to do what it takes to not only make the team, but make a difference.
“Not having that consistency of being in season after season and having that in-game mental conditioning, not so much the physical, is definitely a challenge,” Kenney said. “I have the potential, especially in Durango, to help out that team a lot, especially the way that team is building, I can help out a lot.
“On a personal level, I don’t know what I can achieve, but I have my sites set pretty high. I don’t want to sound conceited or anything, but I feel like I am capable of doing whatever I want to on the football field, even with the injuries. I’m in 100 percent shape and in a place where I need to be to perform.”
Kenney is majoring in business with a focus on management and would love nothing more to open his own business and have the ability to travel.
“We’ll just see how this whole football thing pans out and where that takes me,” he said.
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