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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Pitcher endures health concerns

Since Amanda Wood, ’08, began her softball career in the fourth grade, she became involved with Division I teams and their members. Wood transferred from Clovis West in the middle of second semester and now attends this campus, to play in Division V.

“I left Clovis West because I didn’t like the politics there,” Wood said. “I thought Fresno Christian would be a better school and environment. I’m glad to be playing softball for this school.”

Wood discovered differences in the transfer and found positive and negative aspects.

“The softball here is very different from Clovis West,” Wood said. “The competitive level is a lot different and there is also not as much pressure put on you. Not having all of that pressure gives me more time to do my homework and work on my grades.”

Wood is the only pitcher for the 15-member team on campus. Although the Eagles have not begun playing games in the South West Sierra League (SWSL), their record is 1-2 overall. Each games results can be read in The Feather’s Softball sports shorts.

“The difficult thing about having one pitcher is the team depends on Amanda to constantly rise to the challenges set before her,” Michelle Wright, assistant coach, said. “She has been able to exceed those expectations. It’s now up to the rest of the team to continue to step up the bar that Amanda and some of the other players have set; then come the victories.”

Wood contributes her talents to family. Her father influenced her to start playing at a young age and helped her at practices by catching her pitches. Along with her parent’s encouragement and advice, her three sisters, Carissa, ’07, Bethany, ’11, and Rachael, ’13, enhance her game.

“We all try to watch each others’ games, but usually we are busy with our own teams,” Wood said. “My oldest sister plays softball at Clovis West. She is on the varsity team there. Having her on the team has had a big influence on me, because I wanted to play on varsity with her.”

During eight years of playing ball and seven travel teams, Wood experienced a few embarrassing moments over the course of her career.

“When I was in seventh grade, I was playing outfield and there was a pop fly right to me,” Wood said. “I ran for it and then I lost the ball in the sun. The ball hit me right between my eyes. It hurt a lot and it was pretty embarrassing, but that is only one of many embarrassing moments.”

Scoliosis diagnosis questions career continuation

Just a year after she started playing and began focusing on improvement, Wood was diagnosed with scoliosis, in her upper and lower back.

“When they told me I had scoliosis I didn?t know what it was or why I had it,” Wood said, “all I knew is that there was something wrong with my back. Scoliosis happens when you have growth spurts instead of your spine growing straight up. It twists and tightens your muscles on both sides of your back.”

“The doctors told me I had to wear a brace at night,” Wood said. “It was so uncomfortable and hot there was no way I could sleep in it. For those two years, I had to battle with having no sleep. My back never stops hurting and I always have thoughts about surgery in the back of my mind.”

Although surgery may solve her back problems, going under the knife would postpone her softball career, including any form of physical activity, for at least a year.

“If I got the surgery the doctors would have to put metal rods in both sides of my back and screw them into my spine,” Wood said. “My dad asked the doctor at Valley Children’s Hospital ‘if my daughter had a chance to play softball in college, should she still have the surgery’. The doctor at said ‘no’ and I didn?t get the surgery. The thought of surgery still remains in my head; there is no other cure for scoliosis.”

Wood copes with the possibilities of injury during each game, yet continues to increase her stats.

“Amanda is a great leader because she has hard work ethic and attitude,” Tiffany Kaiser, head coach, said. “As a pitcher, she has the potential to play all the way through college; she (Wood) is a great asset to the team.”

For more information, call Wright at (559) 457-8757, or check out the Softball sports shorts, 2007.

“Playing each game is so awesome for me,” Wood said. “I love the adrenaline rush it gives you and I love having to struggle with the team to have good times and bad times. Softball is my life, my passion; I don’t know what I would do without it.”

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