Pritzker Athletics: A trip down injury lane

Referee watches over Homecoming football game. Photo credit: Joshua Flores

By Ariana Lopez ’18

The year 2016 was a remarkable year for Pritzker in the sense that there was more severe, sport caused injuries than any years before. Having athletes get injured while playing sports was something not foreign to coaches and students, but having as many critically injured players was definitely a surprise. This year, the hallways are filled with people that either dealt with or are currently dealing with a sport caused injury.

Among those injured is Veronica Lopez, a now senior dealing with a five month old injury. Lopez, who first got injured her junior year during a rugby championship, has a torn medial meniscus and a ruptured ACL. “When I was first told that I was going to have a surgery and not be able to play rugby, cheerleading, and there might be a possibility that I [wouldn’t be able to] play softball, I was crushed,” explained Lopez.

Similar to Lopez, junior on the Varsity Football team, Javonte Dawson was hurt during a game against Rowe Clark, where another player fell on the back of his foot, causing a bone in his ankle to chip. When addressing the lows to this situation, Dawson stated, “I’ve missed basketball season and I could possibly miss rugby season too.”  Also on the Varsity Football team, Austin Molina, messed up his LCL when an opposing player jumped on his knee in an attempted tackle. Molina explained feeling scared that his injury would worsen. “Sports is all I got, and I was hoping nothing bad happened to my knee,” stated Molina. Lastly, Oscar Comas, a senior on the Football team, got a concussion from a “helmet to helmet contact” with another player. Because of this, Comas was ineligible to play for three weeks.

Head Volleyball and Softball coach, Gabrielle Budzon stated that injuries are “fairly normal” when it comes to sports. Budzon also mentioned that the IHSA deals personally with risky situations, like concussions. Basketball and ITW soccer coach, Ryan Palmer agreed with Budzon in regards to injuries, stating “injuries are part of sports, they happen.”

A study conducted by the WGN news outlet concluded that most injuries happen among sports that involve excessive contact, like basketball,  football, and soccer. And since the teenage brain is still developing, serious injuries can severely damage their lives.

Despite lying on a complete field of normalcy, injuries are also preventable. “Athletes need to warm up, cool-down, and listen to their bodies. Too often, students push themselves through pain, but pain is there for a reason. It tells you something is wrong. Eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and getting enough rest can also prevent injuries,” stated Budzon.