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The impacts of injuries on the Shenendehowa football team

Although the Plainsmen have seen great success this season, the undefeated team has had to deal with some unexpected injuries.
Brett Steiner wears a brace during games because he is playing with a torn ACL.

Injuries can often define an athletic team’s success. Despite a, so far, successful season, the varsity football team are not immune to their share of injuries. 

Some starting players got hurt in the off-season coming into the 2023 football season. Having this information before the season, however, head football coach Brian Clawson said he was able to come up with a game plan to prepare and plan around these players’ injuries. 

Brett Steiner, middle linebacker for Shenendehowa and Captain, tore his ACL coming into his senior year. Luckily he is able to finish out his Shen career and is still playing . 

While this injury makes it harder for Steiner to make reads and constantly having the concern of getting hit again, Clawson said, “Brett is very determined, he worked extremely hard in the off-season showing he didn’t want to lose his senior year. Even though he is injured he is playing at a remarkably high level.”

The Plainsmen are fortunate to have Steiner still playing because not many people have the opportunity to play on a torn ACL. Steiner said he is grateful he is able to play his senior season but he expressed that “playing is very worrisome because I’m scared I’m going to get hit and have to stop playing on it because it is like living on borrowed time right now.”

Sam Bartlett is also in the same boat as Steiner but isn’t as fortunate.. Bartlett was able to play in the first couple games but isn’t recovering from his torn ACL. He is expected to get surgery in the next couple weeks. Bartlett said he is bummed he can’t finish out his senior season as his junior season was also cut short because he tore his torn ACL. 

Luckily the players have access to an athletic trainer, Rick Knizek who can help support their rehab and recovery. 

“Rick is a trained professional and is great at what he does,” Clawson said

With some minor injuries throughout the season some players have had to step up to help the team out including senior Blake Mello who played quarterback against Schenectady after senior Michael Whatley separated his shoulder during the season opener against Niskayuna. 

“Michael was very diligent in his recovery and was able to return quickly because of Rick’s help,” Clawson said. 

Shen will be taking on Saratoga Springs this Friday, Oct. 13, at Saratoga in hopes of maintaining their undefeated record.

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