Soccer players return after injuries

Kaitlin Humphrey, Staff Writer

She went into the tackle. She heard a popping noise. Her knee went one way and her body went in the opposite direction. On March 23, junior Brenna Gantzer, who plays forward, tore her anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament and meniscus during a soccer game against Allen on March 23.

“I was really scared at first,” Gantzer said. “I did the same thing to my other knee last year and I didn’t want to be injured again.”

Unlike Gantzer, junior Curtis Peters didn’t realize he was injured, immediately after it happened, during a soccer game last year.

“I had my adrenaline going at the time,” Peters said. “At first I got straight back up to look and see if I had actually saved the shot, thinking that it was just a really fast and sharp bump. But about five seconds after that my face felt like fire. Then it wouldn’t stop, it was getting worse. I threw off my gloves and dropped to the ground because having been kicked in the face, I also had a pretty bad headache. The pain was so bad that I didn’t really care whether or not it was on purpose. Being mad was out of the question at the time.”

It wasn’t until Peters got to the emergency room that he found out that he had broken his orbital bone in four different places, almost completely breaking the bone off. Peters had to have surgery to repair the damage. On April 5 of last year, Peters went to The University of Texas Southwest Medical Center, where the plastic surgeon went through Peters’ upper lip to place a titanium plate under his nose and in through the side of his eyelid to put another plate under his left eye.

“It’s not fun to wake up with stitches in your mouth and one of your eyes glued shut from dried tears from your eye naturally watering, and I found out that day that I have trouble waking up from anesthesia,” Peters said. “The first few days were not too bad, as I mostly slept for 20 hours out of the day, but after that it got worse.”

Peters had to find out what he was and wasn’t able to do with stiches.

“I sleep on my stomach normally but I had to sleep on my back, which caused many sleepless nights. I was trying not to adjust and disturb the stitches that were keeping my left eyelid together,” Peters said. “As you can imagine, it’s hard to eat pretty much anything except mashed potatoes and shakes with stitches in your mouth, which got old quick.”

Peters’ eye watered while his eye was closed and the dried tear built up and crusted over his eyelashes. After a week he was finally able to open his eye again. Two weeks after surgery, his stiches dissolved and Peters said he was able to go back to school, witha two-and-a-half inch stack of make-up work waiting for him. Now, Peters has returned to his position in the soccer team of goalie.

“It was definitely tough to come back though,” Peters said. “I chose to do only Plano soccer as I felt it was a lower yet still very competitive level of play. I would be able to get past some post-traumatic stress and actually dive again. But just past one year and a few days I’m still playing.”

Gantzer said she hopes to be back to playing soccer by October or November. On April 11, Gantzer will have surgery on her ACL at the Carrell clinic.

“After surgery I will go to physical therapy three times a week to get the strength back in my leg,” Gantzer said. “Then after three months I’ll be able to start running and hopefully by the sixth month I’ll be playing soccer again.”

Gantzer has been playing soccer since she was 3 and is excited to get to play again later in the year.

“It’s a place that I can go and just not think about anything else,” Gantzer said. “If it wasn’t for soccer, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today.”