This season, a senior’s dream of going to states is finally coming true! Hayley Roberts will compete for Stow in states, bowling alongside her sister, Taylor Roberts.
Hayley first decided that she wanted to bowl when she was younger and bowling with her cousins and grandpa. Her cousins were very talented bowlers and Hayley decided that he wanted to be that good. As soon as Hayley came into high school her freshman year, she immediately started bowling for the bowling team and even made it to varsity.
Bowling is a great sport for everyone because it is a sport that you can participate in all your life. It does not necessarily require someone to be in shape or athletic but it does require skill which is something someone can always practice. “Bowling is the one thing I can always do no matter what is going on in my life,” Hayley says.
Hayley holds many memories from her four years of bowling but her most memorable is winning states during her sophomore year which she calls, “by far the best experience.” She also has made many friends along the way with her team. “I love that my team can pick each other up when another one is down,” Hayley says.
One of her biggest goals for the season is to win states and she believes the girls team has what it takes to, “go all the way.” She is happy with the way her team is currently doing but wishes they could have won the tournament they lost.
As of March 7, the girls are currently on their way to Columbus for the OHSAA State Tournament.. They are hopeful to earn another victory. Winning states for the second time would be a great thing for Hayley and a highlight of her senior year.
Being injured and unable to participate in a sport greatly changes one’s perspective on that sport. Junior Mya Dietrich fractured her spine, which took her out of cheer for the summer before her sophomore year.
“I was doing a back tuck on a tumble track and instead of tucking, I stretched out my body and fell on my butt,” Dietrich said.
This put Dietrich out of cheer for over two months over the summer. While recovering, she also had to do physical therapy for a month and a half.
During this time that she was injured, the cheer team attended UCA cheer camp at the University of Akron. Being forced to sit out during those three days made Dietrich realize how much she loved being able to tumble and cheer.
“It made me realize how much I loved cheer and that I was taking advantage of being able to tumble and do things without any back pain or pain in general,” Dietrich said.
Her injury also made her realize how impatient she was. Because she was not allowed to do anything and had to sit out, she could not wait for classes at camp and practices to be over.
There were many bad things about fracturing her spine, including not being able to tumble, but one of the other worst things about it was everyone feeling sorry for her.
“The worst part was not being able to tumble because I hated doing nothing at practices. I also hated everyone being so worried about me because I felt like I was inconveniencing everyone. Lastly, there was no way to get rid of the pain except taking Advil. I was in pain when I was standing, sitting, or laying down. The only time it didn’t hurt was when I was walking,” Dietrich said.
Over a year later, Dietrich still has pain in her back that never goes away. This pain still affects her tumbling at practices and games.
When an athlete is forced to sit out of their sport, they realize a lot of things that they took for granted, which I know from experience. Like Dietrich, I have had back problems since freshman year and got a concussion last year during track season.
Freshman year after my back pain started I had an MRI done to rule out a stress fracture and spondylosis, which is a degenerative condition that affects the spinal disks. Once they results came back, they diagnosed my back pain as bad muscle strains.
I did physical therapy for about two months and was not allowed to tumble during this time. Like Dietrich, this made me realize that I was taking advantage of being able to tumble without pain and even in general since I could no longer do it.
This past football season my back pain got really bad again. I went back to the doctor, where they did an x-ray and were able to quickly realize what was causing my pain.
The x-ray showed that I had lost a normal lumbar curve in my spine, which cause my spine to appear flat from the side. Because I have to arch my back when I tumble, this cause a lot of pain for me because I was forcing my spine to move in a way that was no longer natural.
This also caused sacroiliac joint pain on either side of my spine. I had to go back to physical therapy for two more months. Although PT helped and I was discharged, I still struggle with this pain every single day.
I was not allowed to tumble when I was in PT. Once I was cleared to tumble and to this day, there are many things that I am not allowed to do, including simple skills like back and front walkovers and bridges.
Sophomore year I got a concussion that took me out of track for about a month. I had to do half days at school and I was not able to even go to practice and sit out because everything about it hurt my head.
My concussion changed my perspective on sports the most. With my back injuries during cheer, I was still allowed to go to practice and see what I was missing. This was not the case during track season.
I felt like I was missing out on so much during this time where I could not attend track practice. It also made me miss out on a lot training, which negatively impacted my season in the long run.
Although they hate being injured, many athletes, including myself, are thankful for their injuries in some weird way. They have made me realize how lucky I am to be able to do the things I enjoy and have taught me to not take advantage of them. These injuries have also made me enjoy my sports a lot more than I did before.
The girls lacrosse team has been working hard to get ready for regular season. With practices a few times a week, the team is growing stronger physically and mentally.
Mike Sheehan has been the girls lacrosse coach for five years. Sheehan aims to “provide the teaching and motivation to put the team in a position to win 16 plus games.” Preparing for the spring, Sheehan challenges the team to grow altogether, so that rivalries can be beaten.
“The team has been meeting 3 times per week splitting time between the weight room and conditioning. Many of the girls have been attending clinics to improve their Lax IQ.” Sheehan says. Sheehan and the girls hope to beat challenging teams like Green, Hoover, St Joseph, Brecksville and Brunswick.
Sheehan’s goals for the rest of the year include winning 16+ games, playing into the third round of state playoffs, scoring 144 goals as a team, and having less than 90 goals scored against Stow.
Senior Lexi Armstrong hopes to win more games than lose games and to keep improving as a team. Armstrong works on encouraging teammates as well. “I encourage teammates by helping them fix their mistakes or improve their skills rather than getting upset at them and making them feel bad” Armstrong says, “Sheehan always says a team is only as strong as the weakest player.”
Junior and goalie Audrey Stone’s season objective is to make an interception and clear an opponent’s score over the 75 yard line. Stone encourages herself by working hard every practice. “I have been focusing on improving my reaction time so I can be a better player.” Stone says.
Lacrosse has been an immensely growing sport in the US this decade. With the growing popularity and mass of new players, the girls must keep up their pace to beat oncoming teams. During the 2017-2018 year, girls lacrosse held a dominating record of 17 wins and 4 losses.
“The game brings me back every year” Senior Madie Gash says, “I love the person I become when I’m out on the field, it transforms me and makes me lose track of all time and I love it.”
Gash strives to constantly push herself; at the same time, reminds herself why she comes back each year –to endure her deep passion and talent for the game. Gash wishes for the team to be “the most positive, most hardworking and most skilled” in the league this year.
Gash is committed to play lacrosse in college for Ashland University, a private division II school in Ashland, Ohio ranked as a “Best College” in National Universities Tier 2.
“My goal is to continue to encourage my teammates and myself to be the best players we can be.” Gash says.
Main goals for the girls are to continue working hard and make it past the first round of playoffs. Stow lacrosse looks to keep getting better and end the season on a strong note.