AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - An Augusta teen with severe knee injuries defied the odds, came back to his sport, and helped his team bring home a trophy.
Jalen Scales, a 17-year-old junior at Cross Creek High School beat all the odds after returning to the cheer mat after severe knee injuries. After surgery to fix a severe cartilage issue in his knee, Scales re-injured his knee, this time his entire knee cap shattered.
“I was just devastated to be honest. I was just scared.” said Scales. “I didn’t really think there was nothing that could save this.”
After a second surgery and time off, Scales worked to get his knee ready to perform and just one month later, Scales and his team placed fifth in the nation at a competition in Orlando, Florida.
Owner and Coach Rachel Tambone says, “Knowing where he’s come from and where he had to build himself back up was a pretty amazing thing to see.”
On top of continuing to cheer, Scales says this journey showed him what he wants to do with his life. “Since that encounter with the physical therapist, I’ve been constantly looking at colleges, seeing if I can get scholarships. I do want to go to a college for cheerleading, but I want to major in biology as I do it.”