Coach Jimmy Augustyn remembers it as "pretty gruesome."
Dominic Pagan remembers looking down at his "off-white, yellowish" broken arm and knowing immediately that his junior wrestling season was over in just his third match of the year.
It was the third round of the Lake Station Super Duals against Andrean. The Whiting (then)126-pounder was slammed, landing with all his weight on his palm. Pagan left the mat on a stretcher and the event in an ambulance.
"There are certain situations that set the light off and I think about it, if I'm in certain positions," he said. "It was excruciating. I can't believe it's only been a year."
He needed two surgeries and wasn't cleared to play sports again for six months. He missed baseball. He missed offseason workouts and conditioning. He's still trying to knock 20 seconds off the one minute and 50 seconds it takes him to run pre-practice laps.
"Coming into this season, I was behind everybody and I had to push 10 times harder," Pagan said. "Sometimes I just wanted to quit."
But the hardest part was knowing that he would have to wait another year to make up for the self-described "choke" at the regional as a 10th grader.
"I was supposed to make it to semistate and possibly even go to state," Pagan said. "I was just hyped to be (at the regional) and I didn't think. Now I really want to do get to semistate."
"I want to redeem myself."
The year away from the mat has left Pagan off the wrestling radar. He feels like he can still wrestle with some of the best in his 132-pound weight class.
"He was a pretty good wrestler to begin with. He's still the same," Augustyn said. "I was worried about him more mentally than physically, but he's just as aggressive."
Pagan expects to have his conditioning where he wants it by the end of the month. His goal is to make it to semistate this time around.
"I want to be able to say that I broke my arm and still fought and can be what I want to be without thinking about what happened," he said.