Connor’s Corner

The crowd silenced as Merrick Gentile hobbled off the field, holding his knee and wincing in pain. It was only a scrimmage set to prepare the team for both the upcoming Lakes game and the season ahead. Gentile was only scheduled to throw a few passes in fear of getting hurt. Nobody even touched him as he jogged into the end zone, but as he returned to the sideline, he took a bad step. The team and crowd watched in uncertainty as Gentile was wheeled off the field holding a towel over his face. This can’t be good I thought, as I witnessed the accident first hand.
A torn ACL. A season ending injury for Gentile…and maybe the team. But what seemed like a nightmare at the time, turned into a rally cry in less than 24 hours. The community created the Twitter hashtag #WeWill412 for Gentile’s number, and everyone took it upon themselves to win the Lakes game for him. The student section was more packed than ever, and the team was more pumped than before. Before anyone knew it, North students were storming the field after a 31-27 victory.
Injuries are a regular occurrence in any team sport, and a common nightmare. But what’s interesting about the injuries is that the team doesn’t always do poorly without their star player.
Take for example the Louisville Cardinals during March Madness. The stage was set for a match-up between Louisville and Duke for a spot in the Final Four. Within the first half, Kevin Ware, star player for the Cardinals, landed on his leg, breaking his entire fibula leg bone. The team could’ve thrown in the towel, but they didn’t. Much like North, the team and fans rallied behind Ware, playing and cheering for him. They achieved what many thought was the impossible and won the Championship.
Serious injuries are terrifying for both the player and the team, but some that do experience this go through something odd. They become closer, stronger, and better. The injury creates something to fight for. Being an athlete myself, I understand how a team can get into a monotonous schedule, but an injury drastically changes this “lather, rinse, repeat” feeling. The injury forces others to rise to the occasion and force the team to win. I’m not saying hurt your star player on purpose. I am saying that keep your hopes high during rough times.