The feel-good story for signing day at Nixa on Wednesday was the surprising emergence of Isaac Forbis, who missed out on all the excitement of the Eagles’ nine-win season last fall.
Forbis wasn’t named beforehand to be among Nixa's seniors who would be making their college plans official.
Turns out Forbis isn’t finished playing football. A torn ACL sidelined him for his senior season. But he’s on a comeback trail that will lead him to William Jewell.
“Knowing I get another chance to have more opportunities on the field, I’m so glad I get to keep playing,” Forbis said during his signing ceremony with the Cardinals. “It feels amazing to know it’s not over.”
Forbis was looking forward to the culmination of his work over the years leading to a banner senior season. He had four catches for 39 yards as a junior, while sharing snaps at tight end with senior Caleb Pierce.
But Forbis injured his knee during summer camp last July. Suddenly, his senior season was over before it could ever get started.
“I didn’t play basketball my junior year to prepare for football. We all had bought in,” Forbis said. “Something you had worked so hard for and dreamed about your whole life — your senior year at Nixa — it was really tough to have that taken away from me. It’s the worst thing you can imagine.
“But I learned a lot about myself through it and how much I love football,” he added.
Not deterred, Forbis continued his pursuit to play college football.
“Missing my senior season made it tough on recruiting,” he said. “But I tried reaching out to schools. William Jewell saw some film of me from my sophomore and junior years and made an offer. They’re building a good program and it’s something I want to be a part of.”
William Jewell was 1-10 in 2019 and brought on Mike McClinchey as its new coach last year. The Cardinals didn’t play last fall due to COVID-19 and will have an abbreviated four-game spring season beginning in April.
William Jewell’s signing class also includes safety Jackson Vest, who helped Ray-Pec beat Nixa for the Class 6 District 11 title on its way to the Class 6 state championship.
This week was also an especially good one for Forbis due to the news he received from his doctor that he was cleared to begin all physical activity.
“I got cleared on Monday,” he said. “My knee feels good. I’m going to be working to get back to full speed.”