Amanda M. Cain

Taking you beyond the stadium walls and into the community.

Tag: Eagles

Exeter athlete understands the harsh reality of dealing with a concussion

When Exeter High School senior Riley Haller began her freshman year of soccer, she had no inclination that she would only be eligible to play for half the season. A serious concussion, one of two that she has dealt with, ended her season early.

In late October, she found herself sidelined and unable to finish the season, along with a myriad of other side effects.

“The more serious one was my freshman year and I had to miss out on a lot of social events,” Haller said. “I fell very behind in school because I was out for three months.”

For those three months at home she was unable to read, watch television, use any electronic devices such as her phone, and she missed out on social events due to a sensitivity to light and sound.

Haller’s story is one that has become all too familiar in today’s society. Concussions among high school athletes have drawn more attention over the past few years in part due to the attention being brought to professional athletes who suffer from concussions and the difficulties that follow them.

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Infographic by Amanda Cain. Created at easel.ly. Information courtesy of www.headcasecompany.com

In 2011, Pennsylvania passed the Safety in Youth Sports Act, effective July 2012, documenting the requirements for schools, student athletes, and the Departments of Health and Education when dealing with concussions in interscholastic athletics.

Therese Knabb, school nurse at Exeter High School, has noticed a change in the way the faculty and staff has handled students who have concussions. Caring for students with concussions has become somewhat easier in that the teachers know what to look for when a student is in class and they know how to handle the situation as a result of this law.

“I think we do a lot more than most schools do because we have Audrey who was part of the whole concussion training in Berks County,” Knabb said, referring to Exeter’s athletic trainer, Audrey Dickman. “The teachers are really well-versed on concussions in our school.”

Looking back at her freshman year of soccer, Haller noted that if she could go back the only thing she would do differently would be to duck.

“Playing soccer there’s always that risk, especially in that sport, just because there’s so much contact. There’s always the chance you could get hit in the face with the ball or you could fall,” Haller said.

Now a senior, Haller has not played soccer for Exeter since her sophomore season. Although she says another injury was the main cause of her not playing, the concussion from freshman year played a part in ending her time on the soccer field.

“With the concussion and another injury I just couldn’t do it anymore,” she said.

After spending three months sitting in the nurse’s office at school all day and being forced to drop classes as a result of the concussion, she doesn’t seem to harbor any hard feelings about what she went through as a freshman.

Haller’s advice to fellow high school athletes is simple: “You just have to be aware that it can happen.”

Exeter High School spring sports off to strong start

Exeter Township Senior High School’s spring sports teams are a little over a month into their seasons and have come out strong.

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Infographic by Amanda Cain. Infographic created at www.easel.ly Data gathered from www.exetereagles.org

Looking to repeat the success of the previous season, the 2015 Berks County Champion girls’ lacrosse team has jumped out to a 5-0 start on the season.  With tough games still ahead against Twin Valley High School and Wilson High School, the ladies aim to make another run at a championship title.

“They have a very tough schedule,” Exeter athletic director Tom Legath said. “We are the defending Berks County Champion.”

Also looking to have repeat successful seasons are baseball and softball. The baseball team has started off the season with a 3-2 record including a win over tough rival Governor Mifflin High School.  After making the county semifinals last season, the team is looking to return to FirstEnergy Stadium to play for the county title. The softball team is currently sitting on a 5-0 record after wins over tough rivals Twin Valley and Governor Mifflin.

“Starting out 3-0 and having a lot of kids back, we’re really excited,” Legath said. “They made a great run last year in districts to the district semifinal. We knocked off the top seed.”

Exeter’s other spring sports teams have had successful starts to the season and continue to hold their own against some strong teams. Track and field currently holds a 2-0 record while the boys’ tennis team is sitting comfortably at 3-1.

After facing some tough losses, boys’ lacrosse and boys’ volleyball are looking to turn around their records of 3-4 and 2-3, respectively.

Exeter athletics is coming off of strong fall and winter sports seasons that included numerous county and district titles, and the Eagles continue to carry that success through the spring season.

“The level of success is raised,” Legath said. “I’m hoping we can get at least three, four, or five county championship teams this spring. I’m very excited and we’re off to a pretty good start so far.”

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