Sports injuries are a devastating yet common occurrence. An estimated 90 percent of high school athletes have reported some sort of injury in their high school careers. Unfortunately, Brighton has followed this trend. Although there are still two more seasons for sports, there have already been many injuries to athletes that have sidelined them for extended periods of time.
Tearing an ACL is one of the worst injuries an athlete has to overcome, but senior Zach Pardonnet proves that anything is possible. On Thursday, Aug. 29, Pardonnet endured a critical leg injury resulting in him to be carried off of the field. He later found out that it was an ACL tear.
Not only is this just an ACL tear, but his second one within his high school football career. Pardonnet isn’t done just yet though. “I will play until my body physically won’t let me anymore,” he said. Until the day of his surgery, he will still dress and participate at every practice and game. Even though Pardonnet doesn’t have as much of an impact on the field, off the field he still does everything he can to keep his team at the top of their game. Zach is a team captain, and does everything he can to keep leading his team through his words and his actions.
Many players face minor non-season ending injuries. Captain of the soccer team JD Vandemergel sprained his ankle in his game against Howell on August 29. He stepped forward to cross the ball toward the net when a Howell defender stepped on the inside of his ankle. He continued to play through it for a few games until he realized something was really wrong.
“After 3 games of playing on my injury I ended up going to urgent care because it hurt so bad to the point where I couldn’t walk on it,” said Vandemergel. They took X-rays and they said he had a grade 2 high ankle sprain and he’d be out the rest of the season.Vandemergel was devastated he wouldn’t be able to finish his senior season, until he sought a second opinion at U of M Hospital. The second doctor told him that his ankle would heal quickly and he would be back at it in 2-4 weeks. Now, Vendermergel feels like he is back and better than ever as he continues to play out his senior season.
Although many injuries to athletes happen on the field, some happen off of it. Senior basketball player Clayton Price was injured in a lawn mowing accident over the summer. His ankles were cut by the mower blade, and both of his Achilles tendons were destroyed in the process. For Price, however, this is not the end of his basketball career. Once he is back to 100%, he plans to continue playing, whether it is competitive or not.
Getting through the surgeries and his time in the hospital was very hard, but he says his teammates helped him through the process. He plans to return the favor during the season. He said, “I plan to help my team by motivating them every day.” Although his high school playing career is possibly over, Price is still planning to contribute as much as he can to the team.
As Price knows, injuries can happen at any moment. For Senior Avery Smith, this included during her senior pictures. During competition season for cheer it is extremely difficult to have to sit out and watch your team compete while also motivating them. Smith has had three fractures, all on her left ankle.
She has stayed positive about it though and does everything she can to stay involved with her team. She goes to every practice and game and cheers on her team from the sideline. “I make sure to hype them up on the side and make sure everyone knows they are amazing at what they are doing.”
Smith said that although sitting out is miserable, her cheer career is almost over anyway. Smith has decided to stop cheer after high school and not go on into college. For her last five months of cheer she is going to put everything she has into it and enjoy every moment of it. For the last few years cheer has been the center of Smith’s life and she is so happy she decided to try out and was able to make the relationships she has with her teammates.
Although injuries take a lot out of the teams and individuals affected by them, sidelined athletes can still have a huge impact on their team.