Miramonte Athletes Inflicted With Array of Injuries

Natalie Vigo and Jessie Osterman, Staff Writers

The dedication and passion of high school athletes can lead them to risk their health for the good of the game. The “giving it everything you’ve got” attitude, although beneficial to the team, can also cause a range of injuries, from minor to serious.

The most common injuries, according to trainer and sports medicine specialist John Grisby, are ankle sprains, knee injuries, and strained shoulders.

For him, the scariest are head and neck injuries and concussions. Overexertion is the leading cause for most sports related injuries.

Preventative tape jobs, proper nutrition and hydration, strength, and conditioning all contribute to injury prevention.

“For water polo, a lot of our major exercises are with therabands,” senior Charlie Wiser said. “We warm up with them, and I use them before I go to bed or else I’ll get sore.”

“You need to stretch a lot,” senior George McConnell said. “It sucks but it works.”

Even though precautionary measures are taken every day, the risk of serious injury is still present. Fractures, sprains, cuts, and bruises happen without warning, and are difficult to prevent.

When Logan Boersma ‘14 was a freshman, he broke multiple parts of his leg during a one-on-one drill at football practice. Boersma was unaware his leg was caught behind a piece of equipment as his partner tackled him to the ground. On the way down, both players heard a snap and immediately knew something was wrong.

“I was speechless and just started crawling backwards. Everyone thought it was nothing, but we knew it wasn’t just nothing,” Boersma said.

An ambulance rushed Boersma to the hospital, where doctors immediately took x-rays and discovered he had broken his leg. During surgery the following day, they found his ankle was broken as well. One plate, 15 screws, three four-inch pins, and three surgeries later, Boersma finally recovered after about a year.

Football is one of the most dangerous high school sports. Therefore, it is required for Grisby and team physician Melvin Huie to be on the field during all home games. Other sports don’t need to have sports medicine specialists on the field, however Grisby believes all sports deserve medical attention and assistance.

“We normally expect a couple injuries a night,” Grisby said. “And if a team is losing, there are normally more.”

One of the other common injuries he sees are ACL tears. Plenty of students most likely know someone who has hurt their ACL.

One notable story was Elliot Alper ‘14, who tore both of his overly flexible ACLs. His first tear happened during a pile up at a football game. Alper was taken to the hospital, had an inconclusive MRI, then immediately went into surgery. Doctors discovered he tore both his ACL and meniscus. After he recovered, he picked up lacrosse, being sure to wear his brace. But this time, his foot got caught in a defensive stance and he tore his other ACL.

Matt Cobley ‘13 suffered a different kind of ACL injury. He had an incorrect jumping technique in basketball and over time it slowly tore. After the seven-month recovery of his first surgery, doctors realized it wasn’t healing right. There was little blood flow to the replaced ACL, which meant Cobley had to endure yet another surgery and healing time period.

“It made me depressed, like really depressed,” Cobley said. “I just couldn’t do anything about it.”

Other injured athletes include McConnell during his sophomore year of JV football. McConnell dislocated and tore his left labrum, a part of the shoulder joint. As he was trying to tackle, he cut left and held out his arm while another opponent hit it. It went undiagnosed for a year and McConnell kept dislocating it during other sporting events. After surgery and seven-month recovery, McConnell is currently back playing baseball although there is permanent scar tissue.