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The Gazette Granite Bay High School Granite Bay, CA
Issue Date: Thursday, October 15, 2009 Issue: 2009-10 Issue 2 Last Update: Tuesday, September 21, 2010
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At-a-glance

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 Countless athletes push themselves for the sake of reaping the rewards of their efforts. They even risk their health to become better players, stopping at nothing to be the best they can be.
   Athletes are determined by nature. They possess a competitive edge that propels them to continue playing through pain.
   It may go unnoticed by the fans on the sidelines, but some Granite Bay High School athletes work through injuries everyday.  
   No player wants to be sidelined with an injury, so many of them participate in numerous games, ignoring the pain despite the advice of doctors. 
   The injuries range from torn ligaments, to broken bones and the occasional concussion.
   These accidents are spread out over the entire spectrum of sports offered at GBHS and between both genders.
   It can be dangerous to play through these injuries, and in the long run, it often negatively impacts the player’s performance.
   However, many high school athletes are seeking potential scholarships and every athlete is unaware of the risks of sitting on the bench. In some cases, these risks are almost as dangerous as playing the game. 
   They are all conscious of the fact that the longer they sit on the bench, the more their scholarship chances plummet.
   GBHS junior Jeff Fehr suffers from constant pain in his wrists and lower back due to frequent tumbling.
   “I don’t stop, because I love the sport and because it could ruin potential scholarships,” Fehr said.
   Others have listened to their doctors and refrained from playing their sport. Doctors warn athletes that continuing to play could cause further injuries, many of which are irreversible.
    GBHS senior Phil Barquero used to play on the football team until getting a third stage concussion last December during football practice when a teammate attacked. This prevented Barquero from continuing.
   “I’m not sure what happened, because I was unconscious, but what everyone else said was that I had a seizure on the field,” Barquero said.
   Injuries such as these are more severe than most and can often times cause lasting problems.
   “Later, waking up in the hospital, I was told I had a third stage concussion,” Barquero said. “Not only that, but the back right of my brain was leaking blood because my brain was damaged.”
    Barquero was advised to refrain from all contact sports, but he found it difficult to comply with the recommendation.
    “I tried to go back and play again for my senior year,” Barquero said. “I went to speak with my doctor, and she told me that she still highly advises that I don’t play.”
   While some athletes choose to play anyways and a few choose to recover properly, there are those who don’t get the choice of whether or not to push through it the pain.
   “When you hear the bone snap, you know you’re done,” GBHS sophomore Austin Vincenzini said.
   Vincenzini, a junior varsity soccer player, had the decision made for him. In a recent game against Oakmont, he broke his ankle, an injury that will require surgery to fix.
   GBHS sophomore and junior varsity cheerleader, Daytona Juarez, found herself in a similar position. Juarez fell during a stunt at cheer practice and broke her collarbone.
   “I fell in a way that nobody was able to catch me,” Juarez said, “and now I will be out for about six weeks.”
   Nevertheless when the casts and braces come off and the athletes are healed, they are all anxious to return to their sport.
   “I plan on going back to cheer as soon as I am better,” Juarez said.
   So the question remains. What is the better choice?
   In the long run, any doctor will say that the answer is to let things heal, but doctors can’t prevent any student from playing, so the decision is one that must be made by the athlete. 
  As Fehr said, “It’s definitely a hard choice for any athlete to make.”

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