When playing a sport, injuries are bound to happen, and every athlete who plays a sport knows this before they step onto the court or field. When a high school student gets injured, it hurts not only physically but mentally, as they miss out on practices and games– most of the time for the rest of the season. For upperclassmen players, it hurts because not only do they miss out on college opportunities during that time, but also not being able to play with their friends and teammates.
Football is a sport that is known for causing many injuries, especially when players are tackling each other. Unfortunately, a junior who plays for SBHS varsity football team, Samuel Congdon, got injured during this season. His view on injuries were, “It sucks of course but it’s part of the game, and there’s really no way to prevent it from happening.” To decrease the chance of injuries he said, “I think a player needs lots of strengthening and specific stretches in training to try and prevent it from happening.” his injury was “a freak accident, [there was] nothing [he] could have done to prevent it.” Congdon’s injury wasa Grade 5 AC joint tear, but he hopes to get back on the field and produce senior football film for college.”
To get another point of view on player injuries, who else knows better than the coach. Nate Mendoza, the head coach for football at SBHS, believes “A lot of these injuries you can prevent with strength and conditioning, weight training, and running. An injury is never not gonna happen when you are playing a sport because you take that risk.Samuel was scoring a 70 yard touchdown and landed on his shoulder, and another guy landed on him leading to a fractured AC joint. He was a star receiver, and not only did it hurt the team but the players and I really felt for him when it ended his season, because he worked really hard but he is going through it really well…He will be back in the spring when he’s cleared. I think he’s gonna have an awesome school year and when he’s fully recovered, he’s going to be really motivated to have a strong senior year.”
At SBHS, basketball is a winter sport that is starting up soon, and they are looking to have a strong season. However, during pre-season, captain of the varsity team, junior Carter Battle, suffered an injury. He thinks injuries “Suck because you only have so many years in high school and if an injury takes you out of your sport, you don’t get much time to play.” Battle says that“”From a personal perspective, nothing really prevents injuries, because it could be a wrong step or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And if you play hard, it’s unlikely to not get injured, unfortunately.” Battle’s injury was an ACL tear, and he will be out for six to nine months, meaning the whole season while he’s out, he will still be out there supporting his friends at every game while they are playing, and looks forward to playing with them again..Basketball’s head coach, Mr. Zuffelato, also knows about sport injuries and has an informed view on student athlete injuries. Regarding the avoidability of Battle’s injury, he said, “I read a lot about it, and with the amount of time they play added to their training, players need strength training, proper eating, resting, taking care of little injuries, and proper nutrition to stay healthy can all decrease the chance of injuries…However, for Carter there was no way for it not to happen because he did do all of that…But also from back then to what it is now, things are much better than what they used to be, because now we have strength trainers, protocols, as well as people that help on sight. It’s a much better experience nowadays because back then, they didn’t say ‘take a break’ when the players were injured.” As the team captain, Carter’s absence affects the team because “He is close to irreplaceable, and I feel very sad for him, because he works very hard. He is a huge component for the team, because he’s great offensively and defensively. He is still gonna be captain and a part of the team, and on court we can’t replace him, but we brought up two freshmen from JV and we will have different people try to replace what he had.”
Battle will be back at the latest in late June 2024, and the team is really looking forward to having him back.
Injuries will occur in most sports, mainly being physical contact sports. But a student athlete should already know the risk they are taking. There are ways to prevent most injuries, but some injuries like what happened to these two student athletes, are just unavoidable things that are a part of the game.