WICHITA, Kan. -

Everyone gets hurt in football; the physical nature of the sport demands it. So if you’re going to play the game at a competitive level toughness is a must.

Colton Howell quarterbacked Bishop Carroll to seven straight wins last season as a junior. And he was tough enough to play through the last five of those games with a broken foot.

The official diagnosis was a stress fracture in the Fourth Metatarsal and could’ve ruined the entire football season for the, now senior, quarterback. But as luck would have it the injury was bearable with the help of some athletic tape, and enduring will.

“When you’re doing something you love you find a way to fight through it for your teammates,” Howell said.

After a 10-game winning streak to start the season things looked promising for the defending 5A State Champions, but a stout Salina South squad ended Howell’s and the Golden Eagles’ chances at a repeat in the Sectional round of the state tourney.

“We we’re getting on a roll and our goal for last year was a state championship for sure,” Howell said. “We fell short.”

Normally, for Howell, basketball would’ve been next for the three-sport athlete, but he re-evaluated his priorities and football won out. He ran track to supplement conditioning, and get faster for the football season. He’s been working hard to earn a Division I offer to play football.

Howell also participated in the K-State satellite camp as well as the KU satellite camp to better prepare for the season ahead.

“It sucks now, but you know that when Friday night rolls around and the crowd comes out, and your team’s winning games and everyone loves you for those three of four months again, it’s so worth it,” Howell said. “Then you just hope that come November you can get a state championship and all your dreams come true.”

There’s a lot on the line for the senior quarterback this season and he believes with all the hard work his team has put in during minicamps; they can get back to the state title game.

“We were a state championship caliber team last year, but we’ve made a lot of improvements and had a lot of motivation,” Howell said. “[A state championship] is definitely our goal this year.”