Two Star Athletes Tear Their ACLs

By Morgan Brang


In athletics, stretching is used as a preventive for injury but it is not always 100 percent effective. This was reinforced as two of Jamesville-DeWitt’s High School senior athletes, Nate Shapiro and Riley Foti, tore their ACLs on the same turf field at East Syracuse-Minoa during athletic contests. Some people might think this is not a coincidence and they might be right. Injuries are about 40 percent more likely to occur when playing on an artifical surface, according to Fox News.

J-DHS’s Varsity Football team has had lots of adjusting to do this season. Just as the team adjusted to last season’s star quarterback, Jack Brotzki, leaving to join rival Christian Brothers Acadamy, new quarterback Shapiro tore his ACL in the game against East Syracuse-Minoa on Sept. 19.

Shapiro was trying to tackle a player after an interception when he planted his foot wrong and fell in pain. Shapiro continued playing in the game and was believed to be okay; however the MRI showed otherwise. “At first we all thought he was fine and going to be able to play in our next games, so learning that he tore his ACL was devistating,” said senior player Sam Griffiths. Juniors Michael Schwedes and Dylan Fleischman agreed saying that it was very upsetting since it was his senior year. “He didn’t deserve this,” said Fleischman.

The football team is adjusting well and trying to get over the learning curve of a new quarterback.“There is a certain bond a team has with their quarterback,” said Schwedes; “it is definitely not the same without him.”  Senior Ben Wipper agrees, saying that now there are a lot of holes in the team’s defense but they are trying to work it out. Senior Joe Murphy has now stepped in to fill Shapiro’s postition. Murphy has so far had an easy transition to quarterback from his previous postion of slotback. “Nate has been a really good personal coach,” said Murphy about all the adjustments he has had to make. Shapiro feels that the team is not affected too much by his absence and that Murphy leaves the team “in great hands.”

Shapiro expects a six to nine month recovery period after his surgery, which is planned for the end of October. Shapiro was not planning on continuing his football career in college. He believes that because of this injury his football career has come to an end. But he has a positive outlook: “time heals all wounds and you get over it,” said Shapiro.

On the same ESM turf that was the scene of Shapiro’s injury, Foti tore her ACL when the Varsity Girls Soccer team played there on Sept. 26: just a week after Shapiro’s same injury. The team was in double overtime when Foti was pushed by an ESM player in the last 2 minutes of the game. Head Coach Haley Nies ran out on to the field not knowing what to expect. Foti had previously torn her ACL which caused everyone to become more upset for Foti when they found out she had torn it again in the same leg.  “Each game Riley was getting better and better so it’s upsetting to see this happen to her again,” said Coach Nies.

Foti played midfield and the loss of her skills has affected the team. Now the team doesn’t have a sub for middle infield position and the coaches are searching for a replacement. Many things have to be shifted around to prepare for their upcoming games. “Riley helped out a lot in the midfield because she was such a team player,” said senior teammate Rachel Redmore. Senior teammate Kallen Prosak agrees and thinks that the whole team will need to step up to make up for the loss of Foti. “We will miss the calming affect Riley has when she goes out onto the field,” said Coach Nies. “Riley knows where she’s going with the ball and distributes it really well.”


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