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Injuries a byproduct of sports

In today’s society, athletes are put on a pedestal with expectations of playing regardless of the weather, suffering through sickness or injuries. Many sports are put up to this standard, but the most affected sport nationwide, college-wide and on campus seems to be football, which is often known for its machismo.

For the past two years, injuries have consistently decimated the Eagle’s starting rotation before the season even began, effectively handicapping the team for at least the opening games.

Among the year’s pre-season injuries were running back, Andrew Kaiser, ’05, guard Jon Wilbourn, ’03, receiver Aaron Rios, ’03, guard Seth Fisher, ’04, lineman Byron Erkenbrecher, ’03, lineman Jeff McKeever, ’04, lineman Israel Cabrera, ’03, and running back Nick Carrera, ’05.

Accidents not only happen during the game but also on the field during practice. One of the most resent and most intense accidents was to Kaiser.

During a preseason drill, Kaiser was trying to knock the ball down while Evan Sanders, ’03, was trying to catch it. Somehow Kaiser fell down while Sanders fell across his body with his full weight.

“I blacked out for a while but when I came to it was hard to breathe,” Kaiser said. “I went to the hospital and it turned out that I had small tears on my liver, internal bleeding and a bruised heart.”

Despite this injury Kaiser hopes to come back before the season is over.

“I have to have another CAT scan in a couple weeks,” Kaiser said. “I am going to discuss it with my parents but I hope to come back and finish the season strong.”

With so many players hurt, it has been a struggle for starting players to get adequate rest during a game and thus risking injury.

?Injuries limit our options with the backup players,” John Hall, head football coach, said. “It means majority of our starters will not get an opportunity to come out of the game, which could lead to exhaustion and the possibility of further injuries.”

Incidents not only occur in high school football, but also happen in the National Football League (NFL) and in college football.

According to an article in The Detroit News on May 7, 2002, Curtis Williams, a strong safety for the University of Washington, was paralyzed from the neck down and left with no voluntary muscle movement after a helmet-to-helmet hit while trying to tackle Kerry Carter of Stanford in a PAC10 game.

Williams later died in Fresno, California. He attended local Bullard High School his senior year where he played varsity football and displayed potential to play in the NFL.

“William was on his way to the NFL,” Dan Arax, head football coach at Bullard High School, said.

Some students may be reluctant to play in high-school football because a great fear of being hurt.

“Football is a full contact sport,” Jordan Griffin, ’04, said. “It is a sport where many people get hurt but being hurt is part of playing any sport. I think that some of the guys at school don’t play football because they are to afraid.”

Even though some students may be reluctant to play, coaches say pain is part of the game.
“Being injured is part of the game and playing with a certain pain level is part of any sport,” Dave Barton, defensive back coach for Buchanan High School, said. “If your strength training increases you chances of getting hurt are smaller.”

One of Barton’s players has a chance at being a Division One baseball player. Despite his possible future in baseball, he continues to play football because of his love for the sport even though he risks possible injury.

“You can get hurt in almost everything that you do through out the day,” Chris Burford, ’04, said. “I prefer to play basketball instead of football because it doesn’t have as much contact. It’s not the little injuries like ankles and arms that worry me; it’s the bigger injuries that seem to become a problem. Plus I just enjoy basketball a lot more.”

Yet most coaches and players believe that the pain factor in sports becomes miniscule when they love the sport.

“You can’t live your life in a bubble,” Arax said. “High school football is such a great experience, the benefits out weight the risk of injury.”

Even though there is a possible risk of injury in sports, coach Arax said that the most risky thing a teenager could do is to get into a car and drive. Arax said the probability of being hurt is everywhere, not just on the field.

When injuries happen, the key part in overcoming and fixing the injury is communication between player, coach and doctor.

“Don’t be afraid to communicate with your coach,” Rod Kraft, Fresno State team football doctor, said. “Don’t hide your injuries because it’s not the macho thing to do. You should report you injuries right away.”

Kraft also said all players need to keep up their cardiovascular exercises and strength training in order to minimize the risk of injury and stay in top shape. ” “Christopher Schultz” “With a year of injury-free football behind him, quarterback Sam Fisher, ?03, continues to lead the football team. Here Fisher is over center during practice on Sept. 17.” “Christopher Schultz” “Head coach Jon Hall gives players a pep talk as practice ends on Aug. 29 in preparation for Immanuel game on Aug. 30.” “

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