Injured seniors sidelined but still involved


Emily Sjoberg

Did you mark that down on your stat sheet? Two Senior’s sidelined Savannah Rodriguez and Sydney Thompson. Sitting beside them Managers Riley Davis, and Carly Guerrette pay close attention to the game as they keep stats at the Varsity Girls basketball game On December 22.

By Carly Guerrette, Presque Isle High School

Instead of walking upstairs to the varsity locker room to change, Savannah Rodriguez ’19 finds a spot on the sideline. Instead of hauling her sneakers out of her locker and tightening her laces, she sits and waits for her teammates. Instead of putting on her knee brace, she asks the managers if they need any help filling water bottles. And instead of grabbing a ball to shoot around, she rebounds for teammates as they warm up.

Life as a high school athlete has changed this winter for Rodriguez. “During our soccer game on September 1 I went to kick a bounding ball that was out of my [goalie] box. As I kicked the ball I landed on my right leg.  My knee went outwards and I heard a pop. I fell to the ground.” Rodriguez ended up tearing her ACL.

“When I found out she tore her ACL I was in shock,” said teammate Molly Kingsbury ‘19. “I was sitting next to her on the bus to Fort Kent. At first I thought she was joking with me. After it sunk in, I realized the rest of my season I would play for her.”

Rodriguez ended up finishing the soccer season, but it was a hard decision for Rodriguez if she should play or not this winter. “I personally made the decision to stop playing. I had been tweaking it in practice and it would swell up a lot. I was in some pain.” Rodriguez said. She is now looking forward to recovering from surgery and is ready to work hard rehabbing to hopefully play in college.

As though one sidelined senior isn’t enough, Rodriguez is not the only one with a torn ACL on the girls varsity basketball team this season. Sydney Thompson ‘19 also tore her ACL in a pre-season basketball game against Gorham. “I jump-stopped and got pushed while my feet were planted. My knee went inward and I heard it pop,” Thompson said. Thompson found out that she had torn her ACL on December 3. “I was so upset and disappointed. I would have done almost anything to be able to play another game,” Thompson said.

Athletic trainer Andy Helstrom said, “It’s tough to see a player sidelined with a major injury like an ACL tear. Especially when they are a senior and have given so much time and effort to the sport over the years.”

This decision did not only affect Rodriguez. It also affected the team as a whole. “It changed my game plan a lot because Savannah is the heart and soul of the team, especially when she is on the court,” said girls varsity basketball coach Jeff Hudson. With two seniors out for the season it changes the game plan for Coach Hudson. I just have to remind the girls that they are capable of doing it and someone else is going to step up and get the job done.  It is going to be difficult at times, but we can still reach our goals if we continue to work hard,” said Hudson.

Even though Rodriguez and Thompson can’t play this basketball season, that doesn’t mean they aren’t part of the team. Both seniors help keep stats during a game. The girls also rebound and keep the clock for the players at practice. “Even though I can’t participate in anything, my confidence in the team is so high,” said Rodriguez.  “I still try to direct traffic from the bench, I’m always positive, and try to lead them as if I was on the court.”

Despite the hardships the girls team may have, they are off to a 3-3 start and have their eyes on the tournament in March.

This story was originally published on The Anchor on January 2, 2019.