Category Archives: Sports Opinion

Sports Injuries

Lauren Rayman
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.

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March Madness begins with upsets and surprises

By Evan Bainbridge

The month of march is all about college basketball and the NCAA tournament. These games are all about crazy upsets, huge blowouts and a chance to take a national championship back to school.

The tournament starts out with 68 teams, and then after the first four play-in games are done the round of 64 starts. This is the first actual round of the NCAA tournament and many people, nationwide, fill out brackets to try and win money and enjoy many games of basketball.

After the round of 64, there are usually no perfect brackets left (occasionally there is but…) because there is bound to be a couple upsets in the first round that nobody expects. This round is followed by the round of 32, then the Sweet 16, then the Elite 8, followed by the Final Four and finally the NCAA Championship game.

“I think it has been the best one I have ever seen, just because of all the upsets and the Cinderella stories, like UMBC beating Virginia,” junior Jackson Carlson said.

March Madness this year has been an exciting one for most fans because of the upsets and close games, but that can also crush someone’s bracket. The biggest upset thus far in the tournament was the 16 seeded UMBC Retrievers beating the one seeded Virginia Cavaliers in the first round of the tournament, 74-54. This was the first time in NCAA history that a one seed has ever lost to a 16 seed, and it was unexpected by everyone because Virginia was suppose to be the number one team in the whole tournament.

“This year’s tournament was full of upsets and exciting games with my favorites being UMBC and Loyola of Chicago. I loved UMBC’s energy and presence in the tournament. This was one of the most exciting first rounds in a couple years, but my bracket was destroyed after round one,” sophomore, Matthew Duffy said.

UMBC ended up losing in the round of 32, but they were the talk of the nation and still are today because they will go down in history forever. Loyola of Chicago came in the tournament as an 11 seed, and they have upset two teams in the first two rounds to advance to the Sweet 16.

The Sweet 16 games will be this Thursday and Friday where four games will be played each night. As the games get closer and closer to the championship, they start to get better and better because they are all fighting to be the National Basketball Champions of the NCAA in 2018.

2018 NBA All-Star Game

By Evan Bainbridge

The 2018 NBA All-Star game was done a little differently than in years past. Instead of doing an East vs West game (which is how it is usually done), the NBA decided to switch it up and have two team captains draft their teams for the game this year.

On January 25, team captain, Lebron James, from the Cleveland Cavaliers, and team captain, Stephen Curry, from the Golden State Warriors drafted their teams. James got the first pick in the draft and selected Kevin Durant, from the Golden State Warriors.

Each team was composed of 12 players, and the team captains selected players back and forth until their rosters were filled. The teams, for the first time ever, were made up of players from both the Eastern and Western Conferences.

“I loved the new format they used this year. It made the game a lot more fun and competitive. The only thing that they could have improved would have been televising the All-Star draft,” sophomore Matthew Duffy said.

Much talk has been going on about next year’s game already, and the NBA thinks they will be doing the same format with the team captains, but they will make the draft on TV because everyone wanted to see it. People were tired of seeing the same old East and West teams, so this mix up was a nice way of seeing something that has never been seen before.

The game took place on Sunday, Feb. 18 in Los Angeles, California. The starters for Team Lebron were James, Durant, Kyrie Irving (Boston), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City) and Anthony Davis (New Orleans). The starters for Team Stephen were Curry, James Harden (Houston), Demar DeRozan (Toronto), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee) and Joel Embiid (Philadelphia).

The final score of the game was 148-145 in favor of Team Lebron. At the end of the game, the winning team selected an MVP of the game, and team captain, Lebron James himself won that honor. James ended the game with 29 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists, and he also scored the game-winning bucket at the end to put his team up three points.

Club vs School Volleyball

By Molly Richards

    JO volleyball and school volleyball are two very diverse programs, from the games and practices to the over all goals, both have benefits for players of all levels.

    JO volleyball or Club volleyball can vary in the different age groups and levels of play. In the younger age groups, the schedule is much less intense than the schedule at the high school level.

    Club teams ages fourteen to eighteen, especially national and American teams, tend to have a much heavier schedule. This means having more practices during the week, and as players get farther into the season, tournaments are scheduled almost every weekend.

    During the high school season, the goal is obviously to win as many games as the team can and hopefully advance into Championships. So most of the practices involve preparing for the teams they are going to play.

    The setup is different for Club volleyball. During practices, coaches tend to focus more on individual progression and team chemistry.

     Along with the schedule, the goals of each season also tend to vary. In high school, the goal for the season is to advance as far as the team can.

    The goals each team makes during Club season can vary on the level at which the team plays. It could be about winning however many tournaments, qualifying for Nationals or even winning them.

     As far my season usually goes during Club, my teams goals in the past have been qualifying and going to Natio and also making it to the gold bracket (the top bracket) in every tournament.    

    Considering the team and chemistry between players, the school season is where I have become closest with other athletes.

    While Club season does create new friendships and close knit bonds with players who are not from an individual’s school, during the school season the team becomes a big family.

    In high school, team members are always together whether it be during practices and games or outside of school.

    The experiences may be different, but the bonds created with other players and improvements players can achieve in both seasons makes each special in their own way.