Athletes in the Crowd

A look at a few athletes trying to bounce back from injury for the coming school year

By Jillian Chesney and Mitchell Sterlitz

Stephen Sterlitz: As one of the three captains of the boys water polo team, senior Stephen Sterlitz is “very optimistic about our team this year and I’m excited to be able to play with a great group of guys for my final year as a Dreadnaught.” Sterlitz is a diehard water polo player and has a true passion for the sport, a trait that helped the team finish fifth in the state last season. There could be a hitch in his season, however, due to complications in his left shoulder that might hinder his swimming ability. The injury was caused by overuse and was aggravated throughout swim season with no time for rest due to the rigorous training regimen. “It could affect my play and effectiveness in the game, but it definitely won’t impact my ability to lead the team and inspire them to push themselves,” he said.

Ryan Lotz: During a high school lacrosse practice, Ryan Lotz was checked from behind by a fellow teammate. Lotz hyperextended his right elbow and completely blew off a quarter size chunk of bone when he was bracing for the fall. During surgery, a metal plate and four screws were placed in his right elbow. They will be removed after a year. The expected recovery time, Lotz said, is around four months. This means that Lotz wasn’t able to play in last year’s season. For Lotz, this really was a bummer because he was placed on the varsity team as a starter.

Jenna Kauffman: Within the first few minutes of an FDL summer league game, Jenna Kauffman was immediately down. She ended up tearing her ACL in half in addition to a small piece of her meniscus. “It was the worst pain that I’ve ever experienced,” Kauffman said. The injury required surgery and has sidelined her from field hockey for nine months. The upside to her injury, Kauffman said, is “the free food, lots of company, and the fact that her leg will come back even stronger.” The injury is a major setback because not only is she passionate about field hockey but, she plans on playing in college. Kauffman isn’t fearful of this injury affecting her college opportunities, however, because she participates in many tournaments with her club team, Pinnacle. Her hope is to attend the University of Colorado in Boulder to play on their club team in college.