Jayden Stimpson: A True Warrior On and Off the Field


Mady Mertens

Warrior With Willpower: Junior Jaden Stimpson has faced an intense injury that will take him out for the rest of the school year as an athlete. He is facing this obstacle with determination and optimism, hopeful of a strong return as a Dub.

As North Atlanta students, teachers, and parents alike flooded back into the Grady Stadium to watch our beloved football team this season, one Warrior has had to step away from the field: Jayden Stimpson. 

Jayden Stimpson is a junior at North Atlanta and an important asset to the football team, playing both running back and receiver. Stimpson has been playing football since he was six years old, and has had a love for the sport for as long as he can remember. This year, he is facing a devastating injury that has taken him out of the game. 

On August 20th, Stimpson took the field excited to face off against Wheeler High School in the first official football game of the season. But his excitement quickly turned to anguish when he went down in the first quarter of the game. During an early play, Stimpson tripped over a teammate while going for the ball, planted his foot hard to try to catch himself, and fell to the ground, dislocating his knee (and tearing several ligaments in his knee, as he would later find out). Coaches, his parents, and paramedics rushed to Stimpson’s aid and were able to put his knee back into place on the field. He was then lifted onto a stretcher to be removed from the game and taken to the hospital. “That was probably the worst pain I have ever felt in my life,” said Stimpson. “But I didn’t cry, I was too in shock to process any emotion.”

After being wheeled off the field, Stimpson was taken to Grady Hospital where an MRI revealed that he had completely torn his ACL, LCL, PCL, IT Band, Meniscus, and he had destroyed his posterolateral corner. But the biggest part of his injury is the nerve damage, which affects a lot of the movement in his legs. Stimpson’s surgery is scheduled for November 24th, where his doctors will work to repair his ACL, nerve damage, posterolateral corner, and possibly his PCL as well.

After surgery, if all goes well, Stimpson is looking at a recovery process that will last for about 9-12 months. His plan is to make a full recovery and return to all three of the sports he plays—football, basketball, and track—for his senior year. With such a grueling injury, one might expect Stimpson to be a bit down in the dumps about his current situation, but he is feeling quite the opposite. “I have so much support and positivity coming from my family, friends, teammates, and coaches around me which has helped keep my spirits up,” said Stimpson, “I also know that I still have my senior year to look forward to which keeps me from getting discouraged.”

Stimpson’s courage, strength, determination, and positive attitude make him a true Warrior. Get well soon Jayden, we are all rooting for you!