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Jeffrey Walker finishes his sports game with a broken wrist
Jeffrey Walker, Moville High school freshman, shows off his pin bombardment style at his home in Moville, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. The youngster broke his wrist playing the game at school, but finished it even with his sports injury and won the game. (Journal photo by Jerry Mennenga / Find more photos and buy copies at

MOVILLE -- Jeffrey Walker had a Jay Cutler football jersey.

And that's where the connection ends. Cutler is the Chicago Bears quarterback who sat Sunday as the Green Bay Packers defeated the Bears in the NFC title game.

Cutler created a national sporting firestorm by sitting out most of the second half, the result of a knee injury. Fellow pro football players used Twitter during the game to question Cutler's heart, his guts, his dedication to an organization that pays him around $15 million per year.

Walker is a freshman at Woodbury Central High School. His "big game" is pin bombardment, a form of dodge ball. Tuesday was the one day students and faculty members divided into teams and spent part of the afternoon determining the 2011 school champion.

Walker tripped while running backward in a consolation game. He fell on his left hand. Something snapped, but not Walker's moxie. He stayed in the game.

"I felt it right away," Walker said. "It felt like a knife went through my left arm."

Walker, one of just two teammates left in the competition, managed to dodge throws while sprawled on the gym floor. He rose to his feet. Using his right arm, he chucked dodge balls at his opponent's bowling pin, the target.

"Someone threw a ball at our pin and grazed it," he said. "While everyone in the gym was looking at our pin, I threw a ball that missed their pin. I grabbed another ball and hit the other team's pin and knocked it down."

Sweet victory! Walker's teammates burst from the bleachers and mobbed their hero.

"It was really exciting," said teammate Jordan Bremer, a junior at Woodbury Central and a defending state wrestling champ. "I didn't know he broke his arm. Our whole team was concentrating on him winning the game and we all jumped up and stormed the court when he knocked that last pin down. We were all ecstatic!"

Walker took in the celebration before going to school nurse Laura Sailer, who put a splint on his wrist. Walker and his mom, Dawn Verros, then visited the medical clinic in Moville. X-rays showed a fracture of the radius.

He'll get a cast today, as the doctor used Wednesday to see if swelling would subside.

I asked Walker if he envisioned himself as an anti-Cutler.

"I had fun playing," he said with a laugh. "I'm just glad it was my left arm and not my right."

He knew all about Cutler, though. Walker, a Denver Broncos fan, gave up his Cutler jersey when the quarterback was traded from Denver to Chicago a couple of years ago.

"I gave my Cutler jersey to my mom," he said.

Verros, you see, is a Bears fan. She watched the game Sunday. Watched her Super Bowl hopes fade on Jay Cutler's bum knee.

Said Verros, "I remember saying, 'How can you get this far in the season and just stop playing?'"

Well, at least her son didn't.


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