The Injury

I was on the ground and I felt a sharp pain in my right leg. The excruciating pain continued to spread through my body. The coach ran on the field… 

It was just like any other Saturday morning. I had begun to get ready. I had put my gameday clothes on and drank lots of water like my mom had kept nagging me to do. I got my Gatorade, my bottle of water, and began to walk to the soccer field.  Before I was able to reach the door, my dog ran up to me and started to play with me. For a good minute I played with him but I knew I had a game, so I kept it short. When I got to the soccer field I greeted my friends and we joked around for a little. After that I drank my bottle of water and  started to warm up for the game. I did my normal stretches, then I took some shots up on the goal. 

After our stretch the captain walked over and said, “Yo coach!”

 “They have first ball,” Coach responded, 

“Alright good job; 3-4-3-1 formation The back three are Bryce, Garret, Amadu This is gonna be a tough game, Play your hardest and have some fun.” 

We walked on the field and readied ourselves for what our coach said would be a hard game. Right off the bat, their offense demolished our midfield and as I went to close in on the player with the ball, he gave a good cross to his teammate who finished it with a great goal. We kept trying to even the field with a goal of our own but struggled. Our coach called a timeout and switched us around moving me from defense to offense. I was nervous when he switched me because I usually stay on defense but when I switch to offense, it usually means he needs me to kick the ball upfield. At the time I was happy because offense was more fun but it was also way more work. Soon after he moved me up, we were able to tie the game up.

At halftime we took our time hydrating while our coach told us the game plan going forward. It wasn’t too different from what we were just doing but it had worked. After the halftime kickoff JR, our striker, got a beautiful goal that the goalie just couldn’t get to. I walked over to him, “dapped” him up, and said, 

“Good shot! Let’s keep that going.” He smiled and said,

“Just keep giving me the ball.”

After that we saw that the other team was frustrated because they didn’t like that we broke ahead and they came back with another goal. There were almost 10 minutes left in the game and we  were thinking about how we were going to get the ball and score. We were all focused on winning and as we looked for an opening to grab the lead, I saw the opponent make a bad pass. I intercepted the pass and “burned” one kid. That’s when I saw another player from the opposing team come at me trying to kick the ball but he hit me directly on the leg. 

For a second I didn’t know what was going on. I just laid there as the pain got worse. I couldn’t think straight and I just squirmed holding my leg. My coach walked over and asked if I was ok. I just nodded, got up, and continued playing. I assumed if I kept playing the pain would go away. But as the game continued I lost focus and the pain began to get worse. After my injury the ref decided to give us a free kick. JR. took it and it was a beautiful shot in the top left corner and, after that my coach decided to sub me out. 

I still wanted to play but waited until the final whistle when we came out with the win. My parents went home and I walked back with my friends. On the walk, we made jokes and played around as usual. We were very happy after the win and still had a lot of energy. Jalen said 

“Y’all tryna come over for a lil?” 

As much as I wanted to go, I really just wanted to go home and take a nap. I said no and he understood. When walking back home I realized that just walking off this injury wasn’t going to work. With every step, the pain continued to get worse and worse and finally, the agonizing pain was just too much. My friend Jalen saw me struggling and pulled me over and let me lean on him to help me out . Finally, when I got home I decided the best thing for me to do was ice it a little because this usually helped me when i got hurt. After the ice melted, I took a shower then got in the bed to take a short nap. I was exhausted, and with the pain getting worse, I thought resting would make it better.I woke up to my mother shaking me and saying 

“Clean this room! We’re still going to the movies with Aiden but if you don’t clean this room you won’t be going.” 

As I got out of bed, I bent my leg to get up. I felt a shock of pain and laid back down. I told my mother how my leg felt and she was mad I didn’t tell her and my dad sooner. 

“I’m so disappointed in you! What were you thinking? You should’ve told us earlier you could’ve made the injury worse!” 

I was disappointed in myself. I shouldn’t have tried to hide an injury just so I could play in the game. My dad and mom drove me to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and had me checked out. The doctors X-rayed me and made sure I was ok. The doctor told my parents I had fractured something in my leg and I couldn’t play for a while. I love sports, but not being able to play for a while really taught me something. I was never injured like that before, and even though I still play, I always make sure to be careful. Winning is awesome, but it isn’t the most important thing. Always play hard, but play smart.

Bryce Ford is 15 years old and in the 10th grade at The Haverford School.