By Ali Kochik
Senior year is the year of lasts. Last first days, last dances, and last high school sporting events. For some student athletes, those last games come quicker than anticipated. Injuries have been season changers for many students, rescheduling the end of their high school athletic career to be way sooner than senior night.
So what happens to the athletes when their lives are flipped upside down like this? With so many hopes and dreams riding on their last season, how do they maintain the spirit and the fire for their sport?
Girls soccer players, Madisen Kling and Abigail Castle, both suffered injuries that caused their senior seasons to end a lot faster than they could have ever imagined. Castle, with a torn ACL, and Kling with a broken hand, are now both unable to play in what they had hoped would be the best season of their careers.
Ironically, both girls’ injuries happened in the very same game against the Central Panthers. With Kling breaking her hand and Castle tearing her ACL almost immediately after, Kling managed to power through the rest of the game so as to avoid being pulled out and causing more subs to come in.
“All summer we were working hard and our team didn’t end so hot last year so that just gave us a lot of fire and motivation to go out and just completely dominate this year,” Castle said. “So I think having such a huge set back and for us to both get hurt in the same game, I was just totally distraught about it because it is our last year and we both had so many games left to play this season. It’s hard on the sidelines, just watching.”
Both girls lamented their inability to help the team and contribute whilst not being able to play. They have faced great difficulty in coming to grips with not being able to physically go out onto the field and get things done their way.
“I mean, there is only so much you can yell from the sidelines,” Kling said.
Despite these momentous “game changers,” the girls have not let their injuries take away from their love for soccer. Their passion for the sport filled the room as they described what they would give to be back on that field again.
“We’re just trying to motivate our team as much as possible and remind them that they need to work hard and play as hard as they can, for us, because we’d kill to be out there with them but we can’t.” Castle said. “It hurts a little bit, but we just have to use this to kind of push them and remind them not to take it for granted. You just have to play because you never know what could happen.”
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