Abel Galindo Jr. recently wrapped up his first year of playing on the Hollister High boys golf team, which under normal circumstances would be more of a footnote.
However, Galindo’s situation deserves more attention because it wasn’t that long ago when he was on the operating table undergoing a three-hour surgery. Just last November, in fact. Playing in his first season as QB1 for the varsity football team, Galindo suffered a spiral break of his fibula and tibia in the second quarter of the Haybalers’ opening round Central Coast Section Division III playoff game at Burlingame High.
Galindo was transported to the ER at Kaiser Santa Teresa and underwent surgery the very next morning, Nov. 12. Galindo said he had a metal rod inserted through his ACL, “so I pretty much had two surgeries and there was a lot of ankle and knee scar tissue.”
“When I woke up from surgery, I was exhausted and just loopy from all the meds they gave me,” he said. “It was a weird feeling.”
Galindo said he elected to have a rod inserted because it helps speed up the recovery process and has minimal drawbacks.
“I could come back from the injury way faster than with just screws and plates,” he said. “They said I’d pretty much be out for six months.”
However, Galindo made a speedy recovery and was cleared for physical activity in four months. As soon as Galindo got his cast off, he started a rigorous rehab training program that featured a heavy dose of body weight squats and ankle and knee strengthening exercises.
With Galindo recovering nicely but still unable to go all-out in terms of football-related workouts in late February, he decided to try out for the boys golf team. Playing mostly the Nos. 3-4 positions, Galindo said he thoroughly enjoyed the experience of playing at iconic courses like Quail Lodge in Carmel, where he shot in the low 40s for the customary nine-hole high school round.
His other best round came at Eagle Ridge in Gilroy. Despite trying out for the golf team for the first time in his high school career, Galindo isn’t exactly a novice. He picked up the game in spring 2020 during the Covid quarantine period when all high school sports were shut down.
For several months, Galindo went to the course and played a couple of rounds a week to go along with some sessions on the practice range.
“I picked up golf during quarantine and just ended up liking it a lot,” he said. “This past season was really fun especially as I was coming off the injury during football season.”
Galindo is already preparing for his senior season on the gridiron, having started football-type training three months ago. As is normal for any athlete coming off a serious injury, the initial phase where Galindo had to push hard at something was a bit scary.
“But as the weeks went by, it wasn’t that big of a deal for me because I started getting stronger,” he said. “I’m lifting heavy again and will be running full speed again [soon].”
Galindo is coming off an up and down junior season in which he had some sterling performances mixed in with games in which he struggled with turnovers. So for his senior season, Galindo is looking to improve his decision-making, limit turnovers and be able to make some throws he wasn’t able to last year.
“I’m trying to mainly focus on QB IQ,” he said. “Watching a lot of videos of college, NFL or even high schools running our offense and getting better at all the checkdowns, recognizing defenders and what zone they have. A lot of football QB-IQ type of things. And obviously working on my arm strength and all that stuff.”
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Galindo certainly displayed some playmaking ability in 2022, with his best statistical games coming against Alvarez, Monterey, Oak Grove and Palma. This summer Galindo will go to Fresno or Clovis every weekend to privately train with a small group under renowned QB coach Greg Panelli. Galindo is also preparing to start Hollister High football strength and conditioning in mid-June.
The morning session starts at 6am in which the team usually spends an hour doing offense/defense before they head to the weight room. Fully recovered, Galindo plans on having the best season of his prep career in the upcoming 2023 season.
Whatever happens, he’s already overcome some serious adversity and will be able to draw upon that in any situation going forward.