Rigorous Football Schdeule Causes Multiple Injured Varsity Players

Austin Nightingale. Aaron Ratliff. Drew Scipione. Sean Harms. Ben Terhark. What do all of these key varsity football players have in common?

Injuries. Some of which are nagging and others, as in the case of Nightingale and Ratliff, season-ending injuries.

The 2013 season began with the Pumas making a jump to a division-I team. Many obstacles have impeded the Pumas attempts at a positive first season.

Although Perry has been a division-I school for five years, football is just now catching up and attempting to adjust to competition among some of the best teams in the state.

Nightingale, the opening-day starting quarterback, drastically injured himself against. Mountain Ridge. Late in the first half and PHS driving the ball, Nightingale scrambled to his left. As he approached the sideline, a MRHS defender hit Nightingale hard.

“My ACL exploded,” Nightingale stated of his injury. “I ripped out half my meniscus and I have a whole bunch of hair-line fractures in my femur.”

This critical injury has put Nightingale out of his entire junior year for all sports. He luckily can continue his football season again next year.

Ratfliff, starting running back, broke his fibula against Highland.

Ratliff will now be out for three months; the rest of his football season as well as most of his wrestling season. Not only has this injury affected his athletics in high school, but in future college athletics as well.

“I was planning on getting a scholarship this year,” Ratliff said. “Once the coaches that have been contacting me know I’m injured, I probably won’t get a scholarship anymore.”

With numerous injured players, other teammates have had to step up and fill the roles of the injured players.

Offensive coordinator Louis Nightingale stated that the other players really have stepped up and have done a great job adjusting to the situation.

He compared the game to a chess match, stating, “Once you move one opponent to one place, you’ve got to move another to another place.”

Changing the game plan has been somewhat challenging for this season, but the caoching staff has made the needed adjustments and have continued to move forward despite the setbacks.