Haris Becirovic stood emotionally in the locker room, unable to do much more than gently walk with a second foot surgery less than a month away.
It was Sept. 19 and the Garfield senior stood before his football teammates, delivering a heart-wrenching pregame speech before a showdown against rival Lodi.
“He was talking to the kids about what he would give to be able to play in this game,” Boilermakers coach Jeff DeVito said.
“It was an emotional time for all of us,” Becirovic said. “I mentioned how we had never beaten Lodi in football in my life and that night was the night we were going to do it. Not only for me, but for everybody.”
Garfield won an overtime thriller, 35-29, on its way to an 8-2 season. Becirovic received the game ball amid the postgame celebration.
His promising football career cut short by a reoccurring Jones fracture — a broken bone in the midsection of the fifth metatarsal of his right foot, at the base near the pinkie toe — Becirovic tonight will put on the pads one final time in the Bergen County Senior All-Star Game at 7 p.m. at Indian Hills.