Many athletes at East experience a short transition from one sport to another. The transition from fall to winter sports in particular is very brief.
In most instances such as a soccer player going into swimming, there was ample time to prepare for the upcoming winter season. The dead week, making all school sport activities illegal for a week before the start of the winter season, gave athletes a chance for a break. This also gave them a chance to get ready for their upcoming sport.
Technically, there was no transition for a football player going straight into another winter sport this year. The state game against Derby was the Saturday before winter sports were scheduled to start on the upcoming Monday. Yet, depending on the coach, the athletes were given time to rest. Football players going straight into wrestling were given a week off.
“For me it was the perfect length of time to have a week off,” junior Will Amrein said. “It was enough time to rest, but yet not get too lazy. If it was any longer, it would have taken me longer to get back in shape.”
When Amrein talks about getting back into “wrestling shape,” he means something completely different than being in “football shape.” Wrestling uses a wide variety of muscles in your body, instead of centralized fast-twitch muscles for football. So it takes a wrestler a couple of weeks to get into “wrestling shape.” Because of doing a fall sport, this procured Amrein from much needed time to get into shape. His wrestling teammates who did not compete in a fall sport had a leg up on him because of their surplus time to prepare.
But in the case of junior Gunnar England, there was nearly no time at all to get ready for basketball. Englund was the quarterback for the football team, and had only a day to “switch into basketball mode.”
“It was weird going straight from one sport to another in a day,” Englund said. “I didn’t want to miss any time from the team, so I went straight into it. And it was tough because I had to forget all the football plays and try to remember what the basketball plays were so quickly.”
This switch from football to either wrestling or basketball proved tough for both senior Christian Blessen and junior Will Kaiser as well. Both sustained injuries on their back and right knee respectively during the conclusion of their football seasons. They were expected to return to a winter sport, yet this proved to be too big of a task.
“I tore a ligament in my right knee at the end of the season,” Kaiser said. “So I tried to wrestle on it and just couldn’t. I would have had to have surgery if I didn’t even try to wrestle, but the wrestling definitely made it worse.
As for Blessen, his concussion kept him from playing basketball for a month and half. He is now cleared and was first active last week against Shawnee Mission North. Blessen will also play in the game against SM West tonight at 7 p.m.