Injuries have always been a problem for high school athletes. In the past couple of years at NHS specifically, the athletic teams have always had a student athlete or two out for a short while in the season. This year, however, it seems that athletic related injuries are on the rise. Even with injury prevention being stressed, accidents still continue to happen, seemingly getting more serious year after year. Although some injuries are contact related, most have to do with an individual’s physical health and preparedness for their athletic season. When an athlete fails to address their problem in the beginning of the season, huge effects take place later on. Senior captain Katherine Pittman of the lady whalers soccer team both hyperextended and fractured her knee colliding with a goal keeper. It appears, though, that Pittman was already having ankle problems.
She states, “I had a pre-existing ankle sprain so I was already not running properly which led to my injury. I probably should have spent more time fixing my ankle.”
Katherine was unable to finish her last soccer season due to an inability to recognize the seriousness of her first injury. Pittman is one of many examples of how when small injuries are not stressed enough, bigger and more permanent injuries are more likely to happen.
Tessa Dougan, a sophomore member of the volleyball team, also faced repercussions of a previous injury. Dougan in her homecoming volleyball game, got a hard hit to the back of the head by a fellow teammate leading to a pretty harsh concussion. She recalled that she had a concussion before and said that her concussion this time was much worse. Luckily, Dougan was aware of the signs of her concussion and asked for help right away. Although she, like Pittman, gave time to heal her previous injury, the effects of it kicked in. Yet, the hardest thing for Tessa was the fact that she felt disconnected from her team after the injury.
“It devastated me when I watched them all celebrate for what they had done, I felt like I wasn’t a part anymore,” said Dougan.
Boys on the soccer team have also had a recent uprising in small injuries that have seemed to slowly wear away at their ability to perform on the field. The biggest thing athletes and coaches today need to look out for seems to be the small pains of an athlete. What may seem like a small nuisance can quickly turn into a game changer.
That goes to say that some injuries are just from straight up contact. Freshman Gillian Antoinetti also hyperextended her knee, and broke it in three different spots. She does recall that her injury could not have been avoided and that the contact alone sent her out for her soccer season. Soccer captain Caroline Richards also had a hit that was unavoidable. After colliding into a the other senior captain on the Monomoy team, Francesca Barr, Caroline was rushed to the emergency room. She found out later she had broken her ankle in three places and required surgery, putting her out for the rest of the season and in a wheelchair for two weeks, followed by crutches and several weeks of physical therapy. Jordyn Perry, a junior field hockey player, got a hard hit to the head as well, resulting in her first concussion ever. The biggest problem with these injuries, though, is their effect on school. Students with concussions have a hard time focusing and those with serious injuries miss school for surgery and doctor appointments regularly. Luckily, physical therapy and chiropractic care have helped athletes heal the injuries right at the source. In the future, more emphasis will be made on injury prevention and core training to prepare for the hard contact that these sports require.