Getting injured is to be expected when playing sports, some might even say they go hand-in-hand.

But while some see their season come to an end sooner than they expected, others are given a second chance.

We sat down with a wrestler in Harvey to find out how he didn’t let an injury stop him from becoming a state champion.

“I love the fact that it’s individual, so it’s all on you and you can’t blame teammates or anything,” Carsen Mertz said.

Now in his senior year, Mertz has been wrestling since the second grade.

But that isn’t the only sport he plays — he’s also a running back on the football team.

On Oct. 15, his world turned upside down.

“I got hit on the side. I was on one foot and the guy came from the right side and then my knee went inwards and it felt like I snapped my leg,” Mertz said.

After an MRI on Oct. 18, he found out he tore his ACL, MCL and meniscus.

“I was like, ‘Well, shoot. Am I going to be able to wrestle?'” Mertz said.

Mertz was looking for redemption after he was runner up last year and fifth place as a sophomore.

“We were talking to the surgeon, you know, to see the options and he’s like, ‘No, you shouldn’t wrestle. Your sports are done.’ And he’s talking to my dad about surgery times. As soon as he walked out of the door, I turned to my dad and go, ‘I’m not getting surgery. Like, it’s my last year. I’m wrestling.’ He was like, ‘Well, let’s just see,'” said Mertz.

The next thing he did was reach out to his head wrestling coach.

“I don’t think Kelly was too surprised because he said I’ve always been one to not give up and be tough,” Mertz said.

Kelly Hase says in his 14 years, he’s never had a wrestler compete with an injury like this.

“I’m like, ‘All right. So we’ll sit out until after Christmas.’ Our first event was Nov. 24, I believe, it was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Carsen decided, ‘I’m going to give it a try. I’m going to see how it goes.’ He started wrestling from the beginning of the season. It was unbelievable!” Hase said.

As the season went on, he blew out his knee a couple of times and again during the semifinals.

But through it all, Mertz remained on top, ranked No. 1 in the region and No. 1 in the 195-pound weight class heading into state.

“For him to be injured, to come back with this goal and say, ‘You know what? I’m going to show everybody what we can do.’ And, to achieve his goal was unbelievable! If he would’ve, you know, I would’ve been proud of him either way for going the entire season. But, it was beyond words,” said Hase.

Mertz says the last six years of hard work paid off now that he’ll get to see his name up here with all the others.

“It’s gonna be an awesome story winning state with a torn ACL. And yeah. It was awesome! I proved everyone wrong that doubted. That was probably one of the best feelings in the world. I was the happiest person alive! It was awesome,” Mertz said.

Mertz still has to have surgery which is scheduled for April 14.

He says he plans on going to North Dakota State College of Science to study HVAC after graduation, and that this is the end of the road for his sports career.