Student athletes struggle with debilitating injuries

Senior+running+Dylan+Taylor+is+injured+while+playing.

Tobiey Martinez

Senior running Dylan Taylor is injured while playing.

One moment is all that is needed to change a life. An injury, something so quick and simple, can cause layers of pain in and out. Whether it be a season ending ACL tear, or a pounding concussion, the adrenaline can only last so long. This is reality to over two million student athletes a year causing grave mental strain. On or off the field, these injuries can cause lasting effects in students’ lives. Senior Bhavika Regeti who tore her ACL freshman year says, “I felt like I had a lot of potential, but I feel like it slipped away.”
Being so passionate about a sport since the beginning creates a bond with teammates and coaches that is hard to break. Even if players don’t continue playing in college, goodbyes are never easy. After tearing his ACL three days into practice, Senior Jackson Kelso said, “I’ve been playing basketball for my entire life, and it just stopped my senior year.” With an injury becoming a new reality, making sure to stay on track is always a challenge. By staying in shape during the season with physical therapy and being involved with the team helps to get back in the game.
The mental response to an injury is different for everyone but is always there. Sports in general can add stress to everyday life, plus adding an injury on top could unmask many mental health issues. Having influential people to stick side by side will keep them going. “When I tore my ACL, it was such a vulnerable time, but Maurice [assistant coach] was my person and helped me get through it.” said Regeti.
After recovery, those nerves don’t disappear. In fact those nerves often linger when athletes are back in the game. “I just eventually started playing and gained more confidence,” said Senior quarterback Banks Massey on his first game back. The athletes shared that they knew the risk for injury was real, but the considered potential price they paid in pain was worth the cost to be able to play the sport they ultimately love.