Multi-Sport Athlete Injuries

Lauren Massry, Contributing Writer

Silence surrounded Arthur E. Walker field in early September of 2018. Under the Friday night lights, sophomore Jovani Wiggs went down after a lineman fell on his leg. Jovani moaned in pain as he felt his leg pop. 54 brothers took a knee as they impatiently waited to hear anything about his outcome. 

Jovani recalled, “I cried as they carted me off the field. Having my teammates, my second family, see me cry was the least upsetting thing that happened to me all night. It didn’t bother me one bit. I knew each one of them was there for me no matter what.”

 It was Shen week and the barn was fired up. Jovani’s injury resulted in a broken fibula and tibia. Everyone knew about the Shaker/Shen rivalry that came with every sports competition between those two schools. Now that one of our strongest players was down and injured on the field, the tension between the two teams rose.

The recovery time for Jovani was six months. This unfortunately removed him from the entire school baseball season. Jovani’s main sport is baseball, so getting injured during his second sport, especially at the beginning of the season was very disappointing for him. He was a strong player ready to start on Varsity, however, this would now have to wait until the following season. 

For the next six months, Jovani went through vigorous physical therapy which was a tedious process. Jovani he worked hard all throughout his off season and made sure he was ready by the time the 518 Futures baseball game rolled around June 8th, 2019. The 518 Futures game is a baseball game where top travel and school coaches hand pick talented players that stood out throughout both summer ball and school ball to participate. Two weeks before this event, a coach approached Jovani asking him to participate in this hand picked event and with the hope of being better (or well enough) by then, Jovani accepted. Jovani stood out to this coach during his previous summer ball season.

Jovani has taken this football season off to focus on getting stronger and healthier going into his Junior season for baseball.

Jovani is not the only Shaker athlete that was seriously injured during his secondary sport last year.

The barn fell completely silent yet again when senior Will Pepe went down on the football field after dislocating his shoulder and tearing his labrum. This extensive injury resulted in him needing surgery. Similar to Jovani, football was not Will’s main sport, and they both were in for a six month recovery period. After surgery, Will went to physical therapy for five months hoping to be better for his final lacrosse season at Shaker.

“For the lax season, it was really scary at first because I didn’t know how my shoulder would be and what I was able to do. There was a mental side of the injury as well as a physical side.” 

Will was out of shape when lacrosse tryouts were going on and he could not do a lot without worrying his shoulder would pop out again. Being a starter on varsity, this was tough on Will. His shoulder is not fully recovered now as his mobility is restricted in the whole left arm and will ache for no reason.

Jovani and Will have both been negatively affected by their secondary sports. They sacrificed months on the road to recovery and might not be able to play the same as before their injuries. Nonetheless, both athletes are doing much better and are thriving in their main sports now. Both of these injuries have made Jovani and Will realize that their main sports are more important to them and that is now their main focus.