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Layton High School basketball player Tanner Kofoed poses for a portrait illustration Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, at the Standard-Examiner in Ogden.

LAYTON — A wide, four-inch-long, pink scar slices a crescent arc around the bent left elbow of Tanner Kofoed.

Tommy John surgery at the tender age of 16.

The promise of pitching a stellar sophomore season for the Layton High baseball team was on the shelf, marred by several stitches closing the wound to replace a failed ulnar collateral ligament.

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Layton High basketball player Tanner Kofoed poses for a portrait Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, at the Standard-Examiner in Ogden, showing the four-inch scar on his left elbow — the result of surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament, commonly known as Tommy John surgery and most-performed on baseball pitchers.

Kofoed compiled a 6-1 record and 1.22 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 40 innings during the regular season as a freshman in the spring of 2017.

On May 15 of that year, he came off the sidelines in relief, striking out four over 2 1/3 innings in a key victory against Northridge.

Eleven months later, he watched from the sidelines, unable to lift his arm above his head.

“Before the surgery, MRIs and X-rays showed it was partially torn but when the surgeons got in there, it was gonzo,” Kofoed said. “I was in a sling for six weeks.”

Kofoed actually hurt his arm before his freshman year when he “felt a little bit of a pop, nothing too big; and the next pitch, it just popped.”

He pitched his entire freshman season with a damaged left wing, but the pain returned this spring and he finally decided it was time to get it fixed.

“I was excited to get my arm back,” Kofoed said. “I worked my butt off with a trainer every morning before school and during the summer every day.”

With a surgery that can keep some athletes out of action for more than a year, Kofoed set a goal to be ready for the basketball season and wound up playing summer league just three months after undergoing the knife.

“Obviously that was pretty early and he had the OK from the doctors to do that,” Layton basketball coach Kelby Miller said. “There were some touch and go moments, when he would hit the floor; he would just rub it off and get back in there.”

Layton graduated a lot of players from a team that made it to the state semifinals last season and Kofoed is expected to be a major contributor this year.

“Last year he was one of our main sophomores and also played a big role for our JV guys,” Miller said. “He has great leadership qualities.

“He’s a lefty and he’s a difficult guard; he has some moves a lot of people don’t see around here — kind of like (Manu) Ginobili,” Miller said.

At 6-foot 2, Kofoed will play shooting guard but can handle the ball if needed.

“We’re going to be young but I’m expecting a good year,” Kofoed said. “Our goal is (to win) region and worry about state when we hopefully get there.”

After a season of jump shots, layups and rebounds, Kofoed plans to be ready for his junior year in baseball.

“We’re hoping he’s 100 percent,” Layton baseball coach Robert Ferneau said. “It’s pretty hard to replace seven wins (including playoffs) from his freshman year.

“By the way — an unbelievable kid; he’s a 4.0 kid,” Ferneau said. “He’s a kid I would let date my daughter — if I had a daughter — for sure.”

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