With little atmosphere and nearly none of the normal buzz that surrounds high school football during this odd spring season, some may struggle to find meaning in the games being played this year. 

There are few fans. The typical flavors and smells from the oak pit barbecues are absent. Rowdy student sections are gone.

The contests have been downright subdued. 

Anthony Reynoso, though, is having no trouble enjoying the experience. Not having a senior season, even if it's a unique one, would've been unthinkable for the St. Joseph fullback. 

You see, Reynoso suffered a gruesome injury during his sophomore year in 2018. 

During a game that year, an opponent jumped on Reynoso's back when he was running a route.

"I was on one leg and all the weight made my knee collapse outwards," Reynoso said. "I went to the hospital and they did X-rays and all that. Then they said I had to have surgery."

Reynoso can recite the damage like a seasoned medical professional. And it wasn't pretty. 

"I fractured my growth plate and my femur," he says. "I had nerve damage on my peroneal nerve, so I had foot drop. I couldn't lift my foot up for about nine months."

Reynoso had no idea the extent of the injury initially. 

"I thought I dislocated my knee because I felt it crack," he said. "That pain was kind of like a warm pain, it didn't hurt super bad —  it wasn't excruciating. The part that really hurt was the nerve pain, it felt like someone was burning the skin right off of my leg. That was definitely the worst part." 

Reynoso said he had surgery at Marian Regional Medical Center to insert two pins into his knee.

"They were sticking out of my skin for a month," he said. "They then took out the pins and about four months later they did an exploration on my nerve. They were trying to see if the nerve was alive or not."

The nerve was, in fact, alive.

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"Thank God, because if it wasn't alive, they were going to have to do a nerve graft and I would have a scar all the way down the back of my leg," Reynoso said.

As it is now, Reynoso has extensive scarring on the front and back of his right knee and he wears a heavy brace around the area. Reynoso said two surgeries were performed at Marian and the exploratory nerve operation was performed at Stanford Medical Center.

Despite the major knee damage and three surgeries, Reynoso was able to make it back to the field for his entire junior season in 2019.

Reynoso said he lost track of how much physical therapy it took to recover from the injuries he sustained.

"Honestly, it was a lot of hard work. I went to physical therapy for months, I don't even know how many months," he says, "but I always had the mentality of coming back on the football field and getting back out there with my brothers. It was a long process, I had to stay determined."

Reynoso scored a touchdown in the Knights' 44-0 win at Paso Robles on March 19. He was busy opening up holes for the running game in last Friday's 45-14 rout at Arroyo Grande, too, as the Knights are shaping up to be, perhaps, the area's top team this spring.   

"It feels really good to have a season, I'm just so thankful to be out here," Reynoso said. "Even last year I was thankful to be able to play again. It's just really cool to be out here with my brothers."

Reynoso and the unbeaten Knights are set to play at San Luis Obispo in another Mountain League game Friday night. 

It's not that the area teams haven't been taking this unusual spring football season seriously, it's just that St. Joseph's team seems to be on another level.

Like, really, on another level.

St. Joseph dominated another opponent Friday night, its second in as many weeks, in a 45-14 win over Arroyo Grande at Doug Hitchen Stadium. This week's win comes on the heels of the Knights' 44-0 season-opening trouncing of Paso Robles.

This week, the Knights raced out to a 28-0 lead against the Eagles and took a 35-7 lead into the halftime break.

Watch the full game here, or read the full story - where you can see photos from the game - on SantaMariaTimes.com - https://santamariatimes.com/sports/local/high-school/st-joseph-dominant-again-routing-arroyo-grande-45-14/article_f75178b1-45f1-5d9c-b90e-d1c6e92b2472.html

Heading into Friday's game, there were rumblings that St. Joseph was perhaps the team to beat in this unique spring season.

After Friday's game, there's little doubt.

St. Joseph rolled past Paso Robles 44-0 in a Mountain League game played at War Memorial Stadium at Flamson Middle School.

Brett Burress rushed for three touchdowns in the win, Darien Langley and Anthony Reynoso each had rushing touchdowns and Mark Crisp threw a touchdown to Tyler Williams.

Watch the full game right here, and read the story on SantaMariaTimes.com - https://santamariatimes.com/sports/local/high-school/st-joseph-dominant-in-road-win-at-paso-robles/article_6a985ac9-462f-55c3-accd-e66f89fc661e.html

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