Injuries: Beyond the stadium

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art by Bridget Killian

Brendan Davidson, sports writer

She walked across the soccer field on an early May day. She felt ready to play in one of the last games of the season. During the final minutes, however, she was nowhere near the field. That’s because she tore her ACL in the middle of a game and had not played since.

Kate Jozwiakowski, sophomore, is one of the 69 percent (146/212) of KHS students surveyed who play a sport. According to a study from the University of Kansas, student athletes come to school more frequently and have a higher graduation rate compared to students who do not play a sport.

Unfortunately, 71 percent (115/163) of KHS athletes surveyed have experienced an injury. And Jozwiakowski’s road to playing in a game continues to stretch before her. Jozwiakowski is planning to finally have approval to start her return to sports in early November after months of hard work.

“Ever since I became able to work out, my two days of physical therapy each week have become more strenuous,” Jozwiakowski said.

After playing varsity basketball last year before soccer, Jozwiakowski hopes to return to play in games during the later part of the season. Varsity basketball coach Monica Tritz complimented her on her athletic work ethic.

“[Jozwiakowski] is making quick progress in getting back,” Tritz said. “You never have to ask her to work hard.”

Jozwiakowski is eager to come back to basketball and soccer after her months of recovery. But she still has mixed emotions about her ability to come back.

“I’m really anxious to get back because I feel like I have had something missing in my life,” Jozwiakowski said. “But at the same time it’s nerve-wracking to go back because I really don’t want to tear my knee again, and I know that I have a higher chance now.”

While injuries damage their athletic careers, students work hard to get back to the sports they love. Jozwiakowski sets an example to follow of a student athlete with an incredible ability to rebound from her injury to come back stronger, with a more appreciative attitude from the missed time.

Varsity girls’ soccer coach Phil Cotta praises her on her personality and drive. He said determination and hard work are what allow Jozwiakowski to recover and continue to succeed.

“[Jozwiakowski] is a very intelligent person. She always wants to learn and get better.”