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Desert Hills star OL Penei Sewell suffers torn labrum, wants to play through injury


Desert Hills senior Penei Sewell has established himself as one of the top offensive linemen in the entire country, but his playing status for the remainder of the 2018 season is somewhat in question.

On the final day of the prestigious The Opening finals in Oregon earlier this summer, Sewell sustained an arm injury that, until earlier this week, hadn’t been diagnosed. According to his father, Gabriel, an MRI showed that Sewell sustained a torn left labrum, and he’ll need to have it surgically repaired.

Thunder head coach Carl Franke figured that meant the 6-foot-4 Sewell, who is considering programs such as Alabama, Oregon, USC and Utah, among others, would perhaps be out for the entire season, but Sewell wants to play through the injury, and he did so in the Thunder’s season opener Friday night, a 45-44 overtime loss to Jordan.

Both Gabriel Sewell (who serves as Desert Hills’ offensive coordinator) and Franke said they’ll keep a keen eye on the star, but feel the decision to play is up to him in a large sense.

“My kids will never bring themselves out,” Gabriel Sewell said. “They’ll play through whatever, but we can obviously see when it’s bothering him or something has happened and of course we would step in.”

Added Franke: “We know the big picture. He has a great future ahead of him. We don’t want to get him further injured, but Penei’s going to have to come off the field on his own terms.”