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Eagles senior wideout McCracken planning on playing with ACL tear


Austin McCracken etched his name in Nixa’s records book two years ago on the Eagles’ opening night. He’ll be sidelined in Week One at Webb City this upcoming season.

McCracken is shooting for a return to Nixa’s lineup in Week Two or Week Three, after suffering a torn ACL during a 7-on-7 session this summer.

Leading into Friday’s jamboree action versus Kickapoo and Ozark, the senior wide receiver is not practicing with the Eagles.

“When it gets important, he'll be ready,” coach John Perry said. “We'll be glad when he gets back. But we're going to make sure he's full speed before we get him in there.”

“90 percent,” is how McCracken described his current running speed. 

McCracken is hopeful he can play through the injury, just as former Nixa quarterback Reid Potts played with a torn ACL two years ago.

A one-game suspension Potts served to start the 2021 season led to McCracken starting in his place at quarterback and throwing for a single-game, school-record four touchdown passes at Branson.

He now shares that mark with Connor Knatcal.

McCracken moved to wide receiver last year and had 31 receptions for 290 yards.

“Austin has insane speed. I’m hoping he can get back as early as possible,” Knatcal said. “We’ll see how it goes. It's a tough injury.”

McCracken, a state-qualifying sprinter last spring in track, plans to have surgery in December.

“But If I do well in football, I’ll wait until after track to have surgery,” he said.