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Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

Bouncing back from injury

Lewis excited to return to court for junior season

Most athletes experience setbacks at some point during their time in sports, but how they face these setbacks are up to them. One Yutan athlete hoping to successfully overcome a setback this basketball season is junior Jade Lewis.

Lewis is returning to her third year of basketball after an injury that put her goals from her sophomore year out of reach for the moment. 

“My main goal was… getting more playing time,” Lewis said. “Then also staying healthy and making sure I wasn’t getting injured.”

Junior Jade Lewis poses with sophomore Mylee Tichota after they got injured at the beginning of the 2022-2023 season. Lewis spent the next year recovering and preparing for the next season. (Courtesy Photo)

However, after going up for a rebound during the first game last season, Lewis landed wrong and fractured both her femur and tibia. After being told she most likely would not play for the rest of the season, Lewis was devastated.

“It affected me mentally because I put all this work in, and I realized, well, now I don’t get to play,” Lewis said.

Teammates and coaches were also disappointed to see Lewis’s season cut short. 

“It was really tough to see Jade injured. She put a ton of work into improving during the offseason, was primed for a huge season, and it was taken away from her really quickly,” head girls basketball coach Clay Carlton said.

Heading into a long period of rehab and recovery, Lewis set a goal to play again at the end of the season. In the meantime, however, she set smaller goals to reach.

“My biggest milestone was when I could extend my knee fully out… and then being able to squat again, being able to do the little things I was able to do before,” Lewis said.

Part of what helped Lewis reach these milestones was the support she received from her family. Lewis also was able to use her older siblings as role models because they had gone through similar situations with injuries.

“That helped me be motivated because [of] where they’re at today,” Lewis said. “That’s where I wanted to be.”

Since she couldn’t play, Lewis shifted some of her focus off herself and to the team.

“Showing up for the girls for practice—that helped me motivate myself because I felt like I had something to look forward to next season,” Lewis said.

Junior Jade Lewis shoots during the first game of the season at Elmwood-Murdock. Lewis had four rebounds that game. (Gabi Tederman)

Carlton saw this focus on teammates displayed in many different ways in Lewis.

“She didn’t pout and feel sorry for herself; she threw herself into the team and gave her all to the girls,” Carlton said. “Jade also became a student of the game and learned a ton while she was injured.”

Teammates could feel this support in both practices and games.

“She showed up to every practice and became a presence on the bench and was a great cheerleader,” sophomore Mylee Tichota said. “She tried to contribute in every way she could.”

When she wasn’t being a supporter for the team, Lewis spent her time in physical therapy, progressing from simple mobility to being able to squat and run again. Finally, in the district final game, Lewis achieved her goal and played for a few minutes during the game.

“Anything was better than nothing for me, and I was excited when I was able to go in and hit a three because it felt like all my hard work had really paid off,” Lewis said.

After she met her goal of playing at the end of the season, however, there were still challenges Lewis faced.

“It was difficult for me to start going full speed again,” Lewis said. “And just being able to keep up with the girls on the court.”

That being said, Lewis got to work.

“The last eight months… I’ve worked hard,” Lewis said. “They’ve been hard because I’ve been training so hard for this season.”

Heading into the new season with many opportunities, Lewis hopes to use her past experiences to her advantage.

“I think it’s made me grow so much as a person because I have more patience now. I’m not as hard on myself as I was in the past,” Lewis said.

Lewis set her goals for this season in many different areas, including goals for this year and goals for her future.

“I have many goals set for myself this season. I am hoping to get some colleges to start to recognize me this season since I didn’t play last year,” Lewis said. “I hope to have an important role on the team this year.”

While she is working on her individual goals, though, Lewis still has her focus on the team.

“I think we have enough talent on the team that will take us far enough to where we want to go,” Lewis said. “We have big goals set, and I think we’ll be able to achieve those goals.”

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About the Contributor
Gabi Tederman
Gabi Tederman, Junior writer
Gabi Tederman is a junior and in her third year of journalism.  She enjoys taking pictures and writing news stories.  Outside journalism, Gabi is involved in NHS, volleyball, track, and CrossFit.
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