The Injury Influence


Original photo by Chapman Cox

Many students in Air Academy have experienced life-changing injuries.  Injuries can affect school, sports, and social life. From torn ACLs to broken backs, these brave students have rolled with the punches.  

Some students, like August Scott, experienced their injuries over the summer, and just because it didn’t affect his school work doesn’t mean that it didn’t impact his life greatly.  August is a lacrosse player and the injury took a big toll on his season.  “Summer is a big season for club lacrosse, especially when you’re trying to get recruited, and because of my knee I couldn’t participate in my Junior summer club season.  I was super bummed because not only was I unable to play the sport I loved in really cool tournaments, but I also didn’t get to see any of my club teammates either.” According to August, then, his injury made him sad that he could not play, but it also was upsetting that he couldn’t go out and play with his friends at the same time.  

A USA Today article tells us that 1.3 youths a year have serious sports injuries with 14% being head injuries, 7% face, 12% fingers, 9% knees, and 15% ankle injuries.  The top ten sports for injury (in order) are football, basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, volleyball, wrestling, cheerleading, gymnastics, and track and field.  

Another student with a big injury was Jenna Mourn, an Air Academy sophomore, who is a cheerleader at the school.  She dislocated her shoulder, which may not sound big, but in her sport, Jenna is a base so her job is to hold others up.  After her shoulder was dislocated she had to sit out a couple months to get back to being strong enough to hold up girls.  “Being inured affected and still affects a big part of my life, from not being able to go as hard at practice to just being in pain, it has really influenced my high school career.”

Injuries can also have an affect on the way you have to live your life for years at a time.  Sam Valtin, a volleyball and girls’ lacrosse player at Air academy, broke her back at the beginning of 9th grade, and had to wear a back brace for most of her freshman year.  “Everyone kind of made fun of me, it was hard to focus on my school work, it was hard to get to my classes on time, and people were always asking me about it.  It made me so sad watching my team practice and play without me.  I felt super pathetic especially when everyone had to wait for me and help me.”

While injuries as big as Sam’s are horrible, there are other seemingly smaller injuries that are a big problem among student athletes.  Serious concussions affect about 163,670 students a year. Of these concussions,  47% occur freshman year, while 29% occur during the sophomore and junior years.

ACL tears are also a very common injury in high school.  Chapman Cox, an Air Academy senior, tore his ACL and both menisci in his knee. Chapman plays both football and lacrosse, and when he had his surgery in August he couldn’t play football.  Chapman also thought that he was going to get an ROTC scholarship and become a marine officer, but because of his knee he could not participate in any of the PT tests.  Instead, his injury caused him to pursue his dream of being a surgeon and apply to medical school.  Chapman’s knee is healing well and he will be able to play lacrosse in the spring.  “My injury was really hard because it forced me to stay in bed the first two weeks of school, so I couldn’t see my friends and I got super behind in my school work and it was really stressful.  But it forced me to see that being a marine wasn’t really what I wanted to do, and I am happy that I can now follow my dream of being a surgeon.”