Written by Sarah Dahlberg |

Sports at The Morgan School have been highly successful for years. Teams have won states, shorelines, and competitions. Athletes receive recognition for their athletic ability. Every student has the opportunity to be part of a team, experiencing teamwork, victory, and defeat, but what happens when an athlete is sidelined? Athletes from every team have found themselves sitting on the side, injured, while they watch their teammates play.

I have sat on the sideline unable to participate in sports for a short period of time with minor injuries. During these times, I felt sad, but it did not effect me emotionally because I knew I was going to be back playing soon. Everything changed though my senior year when I found out I tore my ACL and meniscus during the second game of the season for volleyball. I was devastated when I found out because the season for me was over, and I knew I would be unable to participate in softball during the spring. For the rest of the year, I was forced to sit on the benches for practices and games. I couldn’t help the team win the Shoreline Conference and state championship. Yes, this was a horrible experience, but I thought of every other athlete who was sidelined due to an injury. I knew I wasn’t the only one.

Senior Kelsy Orsini  tore ligaments and soft tissue in her wrist during the 2013 volleyball season. She joined me on the bench and shares the same feelings that I had. “Being injured made me feel numb. All I wanted to do was play, but I physically couldn’t, and it was hard especially during senior night when I was forced to sit and watch.”  Kelsey was not affected as much as I was because she got to play half of her senior year. “It was my senior year though so it sucked.”

Morgan Volleyball 2013

I asked Senior Justin Santamaria about his experience with being injured,and he said, “It pissed me off. After it happened, I just wanted to go in the game and continue playing, but the trainer wouldn’t let me.” It was two weeks of sitting and watching for Justin after he broke his nose during his senior year of basketball. “When I came back, I was more motivated.” Luckily Justin was able to participate in cross country in the fall and will be working harder than ever during track in the spring of his senior year.

Justin Santamaria

Senior Justin Santamaria
Picture via Steady Photography

Junior Erin Barnett had a concussion sophomore year, broke a total of 12 bones throughout her three years, and had surgery on both of her feet junior year. Like the rest of the athletes who were injured, Erin was depressed at first when her injuries occurred, but after awhile, she knew she needed to support the team. “I was there to keep the team together. When people got hurt they came to me for help and support. I became known as the “Team Mom.” Her viewpoint changed when she was sitting on the sideline, allowing her to see the team in a new light. Erin was able to watch how the team worked together and how they interacted in the game and during practice which enabled her to be more confident and determined when she returned. As only a junior, Erin will participate in soccer, fencing, and track her senior year,hopefully without any injuries.

On the Morgan PawPrint there is a CIAC schedule where you can see the upcoming sporting events and see Justin, Erin, or other students play their sport.

8 responses to “Sidelined

  1. Great topic! The article shows how committed Morgan students are to our sports program. Keep your head up and don’t stop trying, even after you think your sports career is over.


  2. I really like this article because it is very relatable to athletes. I like how you made it personal as well, including your experience with injuries and having to be sidelined for an entire season.


  3. This same thing happened to me during soccer season. It was torture in my senior year and I was thankful to get the opportunity to play in a few games.


  4. I feel like this is a great article that can be very relatable to many athletes. I have had multiple injuries to both my MCLs as well as my back so I can really empathize with you in this article.


  5. I liked how you outlined people from all types of teams about their injuries. It must suck to have to sit out for an entire sports season.


  6. I really liked your article, and enjoyed how you talked to other injured athletes. Im also sorry that you couldnt participate in all of your sports this year!


  7. Sarah!
    I absolutely loved the idea behind this article, I can’t believe no one has thought of it before. Since I’ve grown up with sports my entire life I’ve seen many friends as well as myself be sidelined for very minor to extremely serious injuries. It’s tough to not only go through it but to watch your teammate or best friend have to go through it as well. I like how you covered Erin’s extensive amount of injuries haha, being on a team with her was nothing short of awesome. She was always there to support us, and I’m glad you gave her some recognition for that!


  8. Great idea for an article and well written!!! It takes a lot to sit and watch a sport you used to be able to participate in!


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