WICHITA, Kan.—The first few practices of the fall sports season marked the beginning of many injuries to come for the football and soccer players of Northwest. There are cases of broken bones, torn ACLs, and even swelled muscle compartments that have handicapped players for multiple games, if not the whole season.
“We’re just plagued this year with injuries,” senior football player Cory Barbour said. “We have so many it’s hard to keep track.”
“As a starter, I would say that my injury has caused discomfort for the coaching staff,” sophomore football player Karol Williams said. “However, it has given others the opportunity to step up, and I believe we have numerous people who have the ability to do so.”
Injured players on the football team include Barbour, Williams, Dakota Dilsaver, Truman Shumway, Dylan Brazell, Brendan Johnson, Brylan Donaldson, Christian Sanders, and various others. Soccer injuries consist of Nick Cramer, Makena Rhodes, and Caleb Mills.
“[I hate] having to watch, especially when we lose games,” Cramer said. “I can’t really do anything about it but cheer. [My goal is] for everyone to be healthy at the end of the year, because that’s most important.”
From the players’ points of view, being taken away from the sports they love is not easy. It can feel unfair, and be challenging to continue to support the program. For athletes like Barbour, playing the game again is out of the question.
“I miss being out there with my teammates, they’re all my brothers,” Barbour said. “I’ve been putting in the work with them for the last two years, and now I have to sit on the sidelines and just watch them play.”
The realization of how serious an injury can be is also shocking to a player. For junior transfer Makena Rhodes, also suffering a torn ACL, being hurt is a ruined chance for a good start at a new school.
“One day you’re playing and everything’s good, and the next day you’re done,” Rhodes said. “It really didn’t hit me until I started getting halfway through the recovery process.”
Some may say the injuries have contributed to the losses of the two teams. When compared to the volleyball team (who has lost only 4 games out of 31), this statement appears to be validated. Despite this, the teams must push onward with hopes for strong post seasons and little injuries.
“Football is all about moving forward and fighting adversity,” Williams said. “Our team has fought pretty hard, and will continue to keep fighting.”