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Athlete Spotlight: Izzy Adams overcomes surprising injury

Tennis athlete perseveres with positivity and community
Daniel Jessing
Izzy Adams was the number one seed in tennis throughout her high school career and also coaches tennis.

Senior Isabella “Izzy” Adams anticipated the biggest tennis season of her career with possibilities to take a repeat Valley Championship as the number one ranked athlete. Adams looked forward to big matches against rivals, Senior Night, and a final season with friends. She could have never have anticipated it would all be gone in a moment.

Three days after school started Adams was racing her twin sister, Sophia Adams, on their bikes when her bike slipped out from underneath her. She had cut a corner too fast and the rain-slicked pavement gave no traction. Before she knew what was happening, she was crumpled on the ground with the bike smashed on top of her. The severe pain in her right foot would later be confirmed as a fracture. Something she had never anticipated caused her to forfeit her final high school season.

It was all over. 

She was unable to compete and could barely even make it to her bed. She couldn’t bend down and pick up anything she dropped. She couldn’t drive. And she couldn’t get to her second-story classes.

Adams has been playing tennis for almost a decade now – about half her life. She ranked number-one seed at Fresno Christian for the past three years because of her ability to smash overheads and pummel forehands across the net. She often chased down a drop shot, sliding up to the net with both tennis shoes squealing. 

Adams was saddened, especially since she felt pressure to be ranked number one on the tennis ladder and looked forward to mentoring the younger athletes. She understood that she wouldn’t be able to play tennis at all. 

Isabella Adams has been taking tennis lessons for almost a decade.

It was love-love, and it was not an endearing score. That kind of love is cruel. She fought falling into a depressed state as every question was about her foot, her injury and when she would recover. Each question unbeknownst to the asker was adding salt to her open wound. 

Coaches, teammates and fans were mesmerized watching Adams play before her injury. From an early age, Adams was called a child prodigy, a force, and a fierce competitor on the court.

40-love. Game. Set. Match.

Now her speed slowed as she used a scooter or hobbled around everywhere. She feared being left behind, watching her friends run ahead without her.

Her doubts and worries began to lessen over time as Adams experienced how her friends and community stuck by her side. Sure, everything still stung, but she had friends helping her through the thick of it.

“They never left me the whole time, even when I was lagging down the hallway because I couldn’t move that fast, they were still there,” Adams said.

She was further encouraged when Coach Robert Foshee extended the offer to take on a coaching role. Although she was unable to play, she still contributed to the team. She became the team’s “cute coach,” scootering around the court and offering help and advice as the team’s official assistant coach. 

Adams scooter was used for everything from carrying snacks and tennis balls to offering friends rides.

The assistant coach beams with pride over the progress of the younger athletes.

“As I coach tennis, I enjoy seeing them take what I’ve taught them and apply it,” Adams said. “Also, I know a lot of girls haven’t played before, but they always make me proud.” 

As the season pressed on, Adams began to also take pride in her one tennis shoe and one boot. Especially the boot. 

Her friends decorated her boot with glitter, stickers, paint, and bows, each adding their signature touch. They even got a wagon to push her in, accompanied by picnic snacks, ensuring a snack break could be enjoyed anywhere, complete with her favorite fruit: Cutie tangerines!

Love-love. That can be looked at positively or negatively. A tie game or zero points. Adams looks at tennis as all positive. Even though she can’t play, she believes this was God’s plan in action.

“God had a plan for me, even though it wasn’t what I anticipated or wanted in the slightest. It took me a long time to realize that there was some positivity to it,” Adams said. 

Adams loves the team and realizes how special they all are. The team strives to build each other up and encourage one another, creating their own little community. This bond is evident no matter what season, Adams said. 

Isabella Adams favorite memory from this season was when Senior Ruby Baker painted her entire leg for Pink Out.

Adams recalls her favorite memory during Pink Out, where the team covered each other in pink paint.

“It’s incredibly enjoyable because you capture numerous wacky photos!” Adams said. 

One of her senior friends, Ruby Baker, painted her entire leg pink from the ankle up. Adams said it was impossible to not be happy when she was with her friends and they were all covered in paint and glitter.

“How can you not be happy?  You’re pink! After all, it’s all about pink and glitter!” Adams said.

Senior McKenzie Sue is one of Adams’ many friends and teammates and has known Adams during her whole high school experience. 

“Adams is a role model that many look up to. She is talented, kind, and humble,” Sue said. “Her teammates respect her and listen to her.”

Sue also shares the same heart as Adams for training up the younger girls for future seasons. 

Adams’ last and most important encouragement through the process of her injury came through her family. Her favorite practice partner and encouragement was her twin sister, Sophia Adams, who is older by just two minutes. 

Her father also was a source of inspiration. Izzy Adams cherishes leaving for school each morning to the sound of his encouraging words. 

“Go change the world,” Rich Adams says to her. 

Adams main mode of transportation after her injury was this trusty scooter.

That’s exactly what Izzy Adams aims to do—whether it’s through sharing gentle smiles in the hallway, offering homework help in an AP class, or leading as the captain or coach of the tennis team.

Since she wasn’t playing tennis, Adams made time for baking. Sugar, spice, and everything nice perfectly describe her and her delicious treats. She thoroughly enjoys experimenting in the kitchen. When not in the kitchen, you may find her voraciously reading another new book. (She owns more than one thousand books.)

Adams plans to attend Point Loma University, majoring in nutrition. She has contemplated extensively about rekindling her passion for tennis in college. She is still uncertain whether it will be recreational, intramural, or for the school.

Izzy Adams has learned from her injury how important it is to have a positive mindset through it all. It’s not easy, but friends and family can help see you through. Throughout her injury, she has learned how to truly enjoy the simple things she previously took for granted. Her limited movement, and her boot-bound foot, made her appreciate her hobbies and all the more time she had for them.

“Find the silver lining with the people around you,” Adams said. “You might initially think, ‘Oh, they won’t want to hang out with me because I can’t do anything,’ or ‘They won’t want to do anything with me.’ But, they’re there for you. They’ll uplift you. And you just can’t withdraw.” 

Izzy Adams hopes her story can encourage athletes and others facing injuries and setbacks. With that kind of attitude, love-love will quickly be a game, set, and match for this standout tennis player, coach, and friend to many. 

For a wrap-up on the last tennis meets visit [Video] Girl Tennis Defeats Caruthers and Girls Tennis aims for a championship season and Girls Tennis senior night.

For another athlete spotlight visit: Athlete Spotlight: Blake Bay.

For more on Fresno Christian Sports view the athletics page.

To read more from the Feather visit Editorial: Black History Still Matters or Ice Baths, cold showers, and cryotherapy provide quick fix to sore athletes.

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About the Contributor
Chloe McDonald
Chloe McDonald, Editor
First-year journalist Chloe McDonald, ‘24, is excited to begin her writing journey with The Feather Online. Chloe values teamwork and helping the campus stay informed. Chloe enjoys art of all mediums and serving her school through leadership class, with all glory to God. In her free time, she can often be found painting, lifeguarding, or walking her dog.
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  • J

    Jeremy BrownApr 10, 2024 at 10:51 am

    Great job Chloe and wonderful article about a terrific young lady!

  • R

    Ruby BakerMar 14, 2024 at 11:07 am

    Such an amazing article Chloe!!