Midland High senior inside linebacker Turner Squire is as tough as they come.
The 6-foot, 210-pound Squire has endeared himself to both head coach Thad Fortune and his teammates by playing through a litany of serious injuries since his sophomore season.
Squire has played through a torn labrum, a SLAP tear in his other shoulder, a separated bicep tendon and a sprained anterior cruciate ligament and sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” Squire said. “I’m sure that any other player on our team would do the same thing I did.”
Squire finally has a clean bill of health, which helped him record eight tackles and a sack in the Bulldogs’ 39-14 win over El Paso Montwood in last week’s season opener.
Squire and MHS (1-0) hope to stay on the winning track when they visit Lubbock Coronado (0-1) at 7 p.m. Friday at Lowrey Field.
Fortune believes Squire is set up to have a great senior year after going through his first offseason when he wasn’t limited because of recovery from surgeries.
“One thing I appreciate about Turner is he has battled through a lot of injuries, but he hasn’t missed much time,” Fortune said. “He’s played hurt. He will brace himself up and go. That earns you a lot of respect in a locker room when everyone knows you’re hurt and it’s a chore for you to get suited up every day with all your braces and what not, but you do it.”
Squire said he played through his most painful injury as a sophomore when he tore his labrum. The shoulder was surgically repaired that following offseason.
That didn’t stop Squire from putting up 44 tackles and tying for the team lead with three sacks. Squire earned 2021 District 2-6A Co-Newcomer of the Year honors.
“Football really just teaches you that you can push through anything,” Squire said. “Your team is your family. Really you just want to go out there and play for them. It’s not how much you’re hurting.”
Squire had another noteworthy season as a junior, compiling 86 tackles, three tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and two pass break ups.
Fortune says toughness and intelligence are the two traits about Squire that stands out the most.
“He's a downhill guy,” Fortune said. “That’s where his instincts come into play. He’s got great instincts. He’s very downhill. He’s physical. He’s 210 pounds, so he’s able to handle himself in the box pretty well. He doesn’t mind getting in the mix a little bit.”
Fortune said Squire has typically been a quiet kid, but the coach has challenged him to be more vocal as a senior.
The coach has seen Squire respond to that challenge. It’s important too because Squire plays a linebacker position where communicating with teammates on the field is important to get the defense properly aligned.
That senior leadership is crucial on an MHS team that has dealt with its share of setbacks this year that include injuries to senior free safety Jaxson Kidd and junior starting quarterback Stroman Bridges.
Squire serves on the Bulldogs’ Leadership Council.
“I feel like the adversity we faced as brought us together more as a team,” Squire said. “We’ll just keep pushing along with whatever adversities that come our way and it will make us stronger.”
Squire has seen the program grow since his sophomore year when Fortune first arrived from Odessa Permian.
MHS has made strides, going from 2-8 in 2021 to 5-5 in 2022.
With experience on both sides of the ball, the Bulldogs hope the next step is to achieve a winning season and get to the playoffs for the first time since 2018.
“There’s a big difference here from when I was a sophomore to a senior,” Squire said. “Coach Fortune had just gotten here and had started to turn the program around. I feel like now in our third year, our team is finally hitting our stride and I think we’ll have our best team that we’ve had in our three years since I have started.”
Last week Squire and the MHS defense had a great start to the season by keeping Montwood off the scoreboard until the 4:37 mark of the third quarter.
“I feel like this is the most experienced team in three years,” Squire says. “We have a lot of defensive starters returning even with injuries, so I think we’re primed to have one of the best defenses in the district.”
MIDLAND HIGH AT LUBBOCK CORONADO
When/where: 7 p.m. Friday, Lowrey Field, Lubbock
Radio: KFZX (102.1 FM)
Video stream: www.midlandisdsports-bulldogs.com/broadcasts, Midland ISD athletics app or Mascot Media app
Records: MHS 1-0; Coronado 0-1
Last game: MHS 39, El Paso Montwood 14; Wolfforth Frenship 45, Coronado 26
Last meeting/series: MHS def. Coronado 27-21 in 2022 to take a 16-4 lead.
What to watch
– The Mustangs have a couple of college football prospects, as junior cornerback Allen Gant has an offer from Texas Tech, and senior receiver Surreal Garrett holds an offer from Pittsburgh.
“It’s going to be a great test,” MHS head coach Thad Fortune said. “They’re very athletic. They’re very explosive. The first play of the game versus Frenship, they went about 60 (yards). They have great athletes all over the field and they do a good job of what they’re trying to do offensively and defensively.”
–The Bulldogs had a rough trip in their last road game against Coronado, losing 42-17 in 2021. MHS needed an interception from Jake Nava late in the fourth quarter to hold off Coronado in last year’s meeting.
–This will be the second start for Bulldogs sophomore quarterback Tristan Love. Love had 124 yards passing, two TD passes and 56 yards rushing in his varsity debut last week.
–Coronado junior QB Isaiah Vazquez was 21-of-34 passing for 319 yards, two TD passes and an interception against Frenship.
–Tim Babino and Elijah McCoy – the two Bulldog track standouts ... Click here to read full article