Injuries Present Opportunities for Different Leadership Roles

Every athletic program has its injuries, both season-ending and lingering aches and pains. SHS is no exception, and has already had its fair share after one season. Football had a lot fewer injuries than last year, with sophomore Logan Wiegel being out for only a game after getting hit in practice, and senior Peter Settle going out during the homecoming game with a knee and leg injury.

“Peter and I play the same position,” senior Eli Miller said, “so when he got hurt I basically completely took over for him and filled that gap. I played that last year and I’m comfortable with that position so [the extra responsibility] didn’t really affect me that much. I just took it in stride.”

The tennis team had to fill the gap of junior Jasmine Bates’ lingering leg injury from softball last spring, while the cross country team had a number of runners miss meets from asthma, twisted ankles, and lingering aches and injuries. The cheer squad had its share of injuries as well, with sophomore Avrey Holliday suffering a knee injury, and senior Taylor Petz a hip injury. Senior Raegan Mantz suffered a concussion that left her on the sidelines for two football games and also for two volleyball games. Junior Grace Rowland had to sit out of all but two volleyball games due to lingering back issues.

“It was pretty difficult,” sophomore Kidist Wilson said, “because all the varsity players players and the seniors knew exactly where they were going and me and a couple of the other JV girls had no clue what we were doing. I was praying that they would get back soon and I was glad that Raegan got back.”

During Powderpuff football in August, Senior Taya Wilson broke her collarbone, ending her volleyball season before it even started, and she will also be out of basketball until mid-December.

“With Taya going down at the beginning of the season,” head volleyball coach Jennifer Mantz said, “that obviously changed our offensive scheme. And then with Grace going down as well, it made our younger underclassmen step up and probably put them in situations where they had to play before they were actually ready. We were really without a second middle and that made me play Lexi, who did a really good job for us, but she would probably admit that she’s not really middle mentality, being five-foot-five.”

Still, the games and practices must go on, and injuries tend to give the younger athletes a chance to step up, be leaders, and learn to take on more responsibility at a younger age.

“There were a couple injuries to starters that were obvious setbacks,” head football coach Derek Schneider said, “but that’s just sports in general. Injuries are just a part of it. So the guys that needed to step up – underclassmen, people who wanted those spots – and they stepped up and it was fine.”