The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

October 17, 2012

H.S. field hockey: A knee(d) to play

SUNBURY — To use her word, Alexis Reid was “hysterical” when her right knee suddenly gave way in Shikellamy’s first scrimmage.

The Braves star midfielder had always feared an ACL tear and, crumpled on the ground at the circle’s edge, she didn’t need an MRI to confirm it.

The overwhelming pain, though, didn’t compare to the crushing thought of her senior season ending in that instant.

“I was bawling as soon as it happened, but it wasn’t even the pain,” Reid recalled. “I mean, it hurt really, really bad, but I was like, I cannot be out my senior year. I’ve been with these girls for six years; they feel like my family to me. And I just love (hockey) so much.”

Her description of the injury (“I was by myself ... and I must have just planted wrong. I felt like my leg just went in half”) didn’t bode well for her prognosis.

The MRI showed a severed ACL but also gave Reid hope. Her meniscus was only slightly torn. Dr. Daniel Feldmann, Chief of Sports Medicine at Geisinger Medical Center, told Reid she could play but with a risk of doing further damage.

So she played. Every game — despite a similar knee-buckling incident that caused her to be carried off the field, and her bulky brace becoming a magnet for opponents’ sticks.

“As a coach it would have been really tough not to see her playing this season, but it was her decision,” said Braves coach Holly Zimmerman. “She has been giving her all ever since. It is all we can ask for as a coaching staff.”

After winning just eight games in the last two seasons, the Braves (8-8-1) are poised to qualify for the district playoffs for the first time since 2009.

They must beat Milton today at home to qualify.

“I couldn’t even describe the feeling (if we qualified). It’s so hard to explain,” Reid said. “I’d just be so ecstatic that we’re playing. If we’d win that would be amazing, but just to be able to say we made it, (that) it was my senior year and I was playing through the injury ... I’d just remember it forever.”

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