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The Shenendehowa boys soccer team deals with injury

Starting defender Joseph Allen who was injured this year during a practice.

A stroke of bad luck has hit the Shenendehowa Boys Varsity soccer team. 

Three players on the team have been out with injury. Captain, Jackson Bennice, starting defender, Joseph Allen, and senior, RJ Ensel.

Causes of these injuries ranged from tripping over a soccer ball to having a freak accident at practice.

Bennice was the first man down, getting cleated in the ankle during the first scrimmage of the season. He missed the first month of games and practices, causing him to be on the bench against their hardest opponents. 

Allen’s injury closely followed this. A few weeks into the season, he badly hurt his back by tripping over a soccer ball at a game.

Allen said the pain was bad, but he knew he needed to carry the defense through their hardest games. So he played through his injury until he could no longer. 

Two weeks ago, Ensel experienced a more serious accident. Senior, Alex Virag, witnessed it all.

“It was a total freak accident at practice. He kicked the ball and it landed on him in a way that sprained his ankle. I still don’t understand how it happened,” he said.

Ensel has been out for two weeks and is currently on crutches. 

Although there are 27 players on the team, players say it’s not easy to fill these positions. Any injuries are a strain on the game play. 

“When people are injured, we have to put people who don’t usually play certain positions in spots they are not used to. Like Ben Tymeson had to fill in for Jackson. He did well in that role, just not as good as Jackson would have because he isn’t used to it,” said Virag. 

Not having Bennice hurt the team early in the season because they were against strong opponents. 

Allen said that he is lucky his back injury happened at this point in the year, as they’re currently facing some easier teams to beat. 

The team is used to players being out during the school year. According to varsity coach, Jonathan Bain, injuries like these are often due to the intense game schedule. 

“The school season is very difficult for the players due to the number of games that they play.  They are constantly playing while being sore and tired.  Mr. Knizek is always a huge factor in helping players cope with injury,” he said. 

Rick Knizek is the school’s athletic trainer, and the man who helps all Shen athletes recover from sport induced pain. 

Allen was ordered by Knizek to sit out of games and practices. He was given a set of daily back stretches to do in his off time.

Sitting out isn’t as easy as it sounds, however. The players hate it and would do anything to get back into the sport.

“Sitting out sucks. I love to play the game, it’s something I’ve always loved since I was a kid. It’s torture sitting on the bench, not being able to go out there and help the team. It makes me feel weak,” said Allen.

Players Allen and Bennice are back in the game as of this week. Just in time for senior night, and the sectional games that begin next weekend.

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