Players recover from injuries to finish off the season strong

Battered, bruised and ready for more, the PHS football team has grappled each obstacle ranging from tackles to tears. Over the course of a season, every team suffers injuries, and the Pumas — while relatively healthy — still have their fair share.

Shifting into high gear for the class 6A state championship game this weekend, players practice strenuously while carefully avoiding trying to remain healthy for the biggest game of their lives.

The overall record of the team forms by a multitude of influences along the season. One of the biggest factors being injuries is difficult because it falls under unpredictable events and it directly affects players and their bodies.

In order to prevent extreme damage, the coaches have even gone as far to factor in the ground where plays go down.

“The practice field’s in horrible, horrible shape. It’s basically dirt, it’s very uneven… there’s weeds and patches… and we could possibly have ankle injuries,” said Coach Jones.

This issue is not only seen by the coaches and players but also the sideline viewers. Sports med students take note of all the possible factors that contribute to injuries.

“They’ve moved their practices from the practice field to the main field to avoid hitting any pot holes,” senior sports med trainer Jessica Aldridge said, “so by changing the location of the practice, we’ve noticed not as many people are getting injured.”

Even so, players are still leaving the field with new wraps and bandages.

“This year we’ve had a lot of knee injuries that have taken some of our starters out of the game, but the majority of them are coming back for the end of the season and the state championship game,” Aldridge said.

Strangely, most concern has shifted from concussions and into tissue lacerations.

Junior sports medic Alexander Rice, who has also attended all varsity practices, has seen an increase of concerning tears: “There’s been mainly a lot of knee injuries like ACL tears and meniscus tears; ankles… a second-degree elbow tear.”

The total or partial ACL tears has put athletes on the physical therapy floor rather than the football field. Although the urge to get back in shoulder pads calls, Rice added on her personal opinion with, “I think they’re injuries are more important than playing in the game.”