The Best and Last Time at Wrestling Camp

By Alex Sorce –

Getting in trouble at wrestling camp is pretty much a tradition for us. Or if not trouble, pranking each other’s rooms, at least. It usually ends up with the team running sprints at 6 a.m. in the morning or staying after sessions to mop mats but every year it proves worth the while.

It was my senior year last summer and the season’s annual trouble was caused by a small, innocent, round orange. You know- the fruit.

As soon as the team arrives at camp we get about an hour to go buy food and snacks for the week. We always went to a quick mart store to get snacks: chips, Oreos, soda, and even a wiffle ball bat.

Photo of Alex Sorce

The camp has rules of course: no hazing, the curfew at 11 p.m., no girls in the dorms, keeps quiet at night, pretty self-explanatory.

Well…most of the rules we followed.

Night time was the time for fun and innocent tricks.  While kids left their room for a wrestling session or in the middle of the night, or sometimes if they would be dumb enough to let their door unlocked, which is pretty much asking for it to get messed with, was the best times to strike.

The usual attacks would be shaving cream beds, or people if they were in there sleeping, taking snacks from each other, spraying axe deodorant spray to the point where breathing is nearly impossible, or trapping people in the bathroom which is in the middle of two dorms, by locking each door behind them.

But we found “lights out at 11” was the easiest thing to avoid, the classic towel under the door to block the light from the hallway when night checks were going on, and shutting the window blinds so light couldn’t be seen from outside. Then absolute quiet for a couple minutes while the counselors patrolled the hallway for extra precaution. This was done every night; nobody actually went to sleep by curfew.

A few years ago I was there with the team and a couple of us had to run sprints around 6 a.m. for a prank we actually didn’t do.

It was after midnight and I admit I shaving-creamed a buddy of mine who fell asleep before everyone else. He was covered and it was hilarious. Right about the same time there was a knock on the door, of course it was a counselor.  I hid the shaving cream can under the bed. The counselor came in and took me to the hallway to find out who had covered it in shaving cream.

“It wasn’t me,” I told him innocently, because I was.  At that exact moment my friend decided to wake up and make an appearance in the hallway soaked in shaving cream. That did not help my cause.   Yes, we were framed and we had to run sprints in the morning for punishment but that was not the end of my troubles.

It was our last night, our last day actually since it was about 3 a.m. We had made the mature decision to stay up all night. At first it was a lot of fun, just playing cards and talking, but then we started to get tired. My friend was twirling a bat in his hands and I looked at the orange from the cafeteria sitting on the desk.  Who would not think it was a good idea to play baseball in a 12′ x 12′ dorm room.  Certainly not the 10 people who were there.  Suddenly no one was thinking about sleep.

The counselors already had to warn us to stay quiet for being too loud and with our reputation there, we weren’t the favorite team with them. Alright, so we thought it would be loud when the orange would be hit, but it ending up sounding like a cannon. The orange hitting the bat was loud, but when it hit the wall it exploded with a BANG that surely woke up everyone around us, which was the most satisfying thing that had happened at wrestling camp the whole week. There were orange shredded remains on the beds under where it hit and juice streaming down the wall.  It was amazing. Almost even louder than the explosion of the orange was the laughter coming and shrieks.

I knew that there would be a knock on the door. I was trying to calm everyone down.. Yeah right. I told one of the other kids to shut off the light so it wouldn’t be seen from the hallway. He shut it off successfully and people were finally starting to calm down. It was actually completely silent for a few seconds. Until the poor sucker who had turned off the lights ran into the huge metal trash can in the center of our room. The sound of the trash can hitting the hard floor was shattering. Again, the room filled with laughter. This time it was way too loud and not a chance of calming anyone down.

The dreaded knock on the door came less than a minute later.

“Why didn’t I didn’t just eat that orange?” I asked myself.

Of course, I was the one answering the door along with my one  true friend who didn’t leave me all alone.  It was was very hard to keep a straight face.

To say the counselor was mad that he was woken at 3:00 a.m. to pranks and destruction.  He must have thought we were just fooling around, laughing and joking.  The telltale sign was on the wall behind me but he didn’t make it that far.  My friend sweet-talked him down from his angry cloud while we promised were would get everyone quiet and back to their appropriate rooms.

He must have been in a good mood, or too tired to fight with us or even having a memory of his own high school wrestling camp experience but somehow we got out of major trouble.

I learned that even an innocent object like an orange can cause a lot of trouble.  I learned that my idea of fun and adult’s idea can be completely separate.  But most of all I learned that making memories with your friends can happen anywhere even inside the concrete walls of tiny, bare room.

A Perfect Night

By Daulton Parmer –

Alone. By myself. In the dark. Chryst Field.

I love it.

There’s no better feeling than putting on that football helmet being in your own little world.
Everything else cut off.

All other thoughts eliminated.

I alter to my dark side.

Unable to hear the fans in the crowd, the cheerleaders, anything, but the trash talking from the opposing team and the quarterback’s cadence.

Just focusing on how I’m going to embarrass the guy across from me.


Butterflies overwhelming me inside.

Waiting for that first hit to calm me down.

My blockers demolishing anyone who gets in their way, one more guy to beat. Whoops! Side-stepped the last guy and left him laying on the turf, his left ankle twisted a bit and his right shoe non-existent.

Where the?! He got my shoe string, that kid came out of nowhere.

Looks like I’ll just have to score next play.

Lining up wide, a little eye contact with the qb, and we both know what the other is thinking.

Looking for the soft spot in the defense, the quarterback and I link up in the middle of the end-zone.


Daulton Parmer celebrates touchdown with Joe Bucek photo by Dean Parmer

Time to celebrate with my boys. Different handshakes memorized with each and every player. Double clap side bump with my quarterback.

Now time for defense, my favorite.

Lining up against the other team’s best player. First play on defense, giving him a little shot that tells him  “it will be coming all night,”

Reading the receiver’s feet, I can tell what he’s about to do.

Meeting him there at the exact moment he touches the ball.

BOOM! Rocked him, the ball goes flying from his grip. He gets up, not even knowing where he is. Stumbling around like a first time drinker trying to impress his friends.

It makes me feel powerful, crazy, like a monster.

I like it.

After the war, sacrificing my body for 48 minutes straight. Taking beatings and giving them as well.

Everything aches, no other athlete will ever understand how much a single football game takes out of you. That’s why there’s only one every week.

It’s so worth it after all the glory we receive by the rowdy fans and the loyal parents. Not to mention all of the little kids that look up to you.

I don’t want this night to end.

Through The Eyes of The Oldest

By Taylor Skelly

I don’t like beating up my little brother, but it’s in my job description.

Like when he is constantly badgering me, just to get a reaction and just to be annoying, I think a little shove is necessary.  Or when he beats one in a million odds and some how manages to beat me in an intense game of FIFA, he needs a push. Or, when we play soccer in the backyard and he scores on me despite of my eighty-pound weight and foot in a half height advantage, I just have to give him a knock on the arm. It’s something that just has to be done.

What my brother Aaron, and all younger siblings around the world don’t understand, is that just as much as it is in the oldest sibling’s job description to demonstrate some tough love, it is just as much in their job description to be okay with it.

Taylor Skelly(left) next to his brother Aaron Skelly(right). Photo courtesy of Taylor Skelly.

After all, the older sibling is always right, right?

I mean, it’s not like he doesn’t have it coming to him anyway, after he has reaped the benefits of later bed times, more social freedom and the ability to see greater amounts of explicit movies, all of which I had to fight for with our parents every second of my 17-year life. All of which he so nonchalantly takes for granted.

But despite all the chastising, and so-called “abuse” as he would call it, that I dish out, I actually do care about him.

This became evident one winter day at the local neighborhood sledding spot. One thing led to another and before long, all 50 or so of the kids who were there broke out into a snowball fight. But this wasn’t just your average, everyday snowball fight. This was nothing short of snow war.

As I peeked out behind my makeshift wall to scan the “battlefield,” I saw my kid brother, only 9 or 10 at the time, getting pelted with snow balls and trapped by a group of kids older than him, who were holding him hostage for their own personal amusement.

Without even thinking of my own safety, I took off toward the altercation, spouting off a barrage of expletives at the punks as I traversed the snowy hillside. Upon arrival I pushed one of them to the ground and gave the others a stern warning. The posse, which just ten seconds before consisted of a bunch of self proclaimed tough guys, backed away, cowering in embarrassment.

I helped Aaron up off the ground, asked him if he was okay and walked him out of there. With out even saying anything, something became immediately clear between us.

I had his back.

A Fork in the Road not Taken

By Alexa Stewart –

Sometimes family members can be an inspiration, leading by example.  Sometimes they can inspire someone on how not to live.  I realized before I was even a teenager that I wanted to be active, motivated and independent  – exactly how many of my family members were not.  Funny thing happens with plans I make, sometimes they have a will of their own.

In high school, shortly after I turned 16, when I would usually be finishing up my spring dance season, I ended up living the life I promised myself I never would. I woke up one morning and could barely even walk. I turned into a couch potato in the matter of a week because I had no other choice.

I was rushed to the E.R where I was told I had a Pilonidal Cyst the size of a quarter growing on my spine. I had no idea what that even was and was too out of it to care. I just wanted to not feel the pain I felt anymore. The doctor told us it evolves from a birth defect called Spina Bifida and is inherited. Mine didn’t show up until later in life and I was told I was very blessed actually that I wasn’t born with it because I would have had a shortened spine.

All I really caught was heredity? My mom explained she’s never heard of it and called up my grandma who said, “Nope, not our side of the family.” Hmm, had to be my Dad’s side. Great! When my mom called my dad’s mom she explained mostly everyone on that side of the family has shown signs of it. Well nice to know now after the fact. Better late than never I guess?

Penn Points staff member Alexa Stewart

I practically lived on the couch for three months and it killed me. Each month I had surgery, but it just felt like it added to the pain. I couldn’t participate in basketball or dance, which were practically my life. I continued to be mad at myself for something I couldn’t help.

After those three months of surgery and a couple months of recovery I was ready to get back into basketball and dance. As soon as I stepped on the floor, I knew I was out of shape and just couldn’t get into the rhythm like everyone else. After of few weeks of practice, I knew that was the end of my sports career, I just didn’t feel it any more.  I found a job right away at the mall because I wasn’t going to sit home and just do nothing. That changed my life.

Getting that job was the best thing that’s happened to me. Some people may be thinking it’s just a job. It’s not. It made me learn a lot about myself, like that I didn’t really want to be an athlete as much as I made myself think I did, and that I was planning my future for someone but it wasn’t the real me. A simple job did this, because it showed me so much more about myself, the job and the people.

Now I work practically everyday with my best friends at the best job ever. I live my life so differently than two years ago and I love it! I’m more independent and motivated for something totally different. I’m so excited for my future because my past showed me the way to a different way of life.

Some May Call It “Brotherly Love”, I Call It Survival

By Ian Noll-

My brother left for college back in 2009, it probably saved my life.

Take the time I was in the garage thinking about skateboarding when the crack of the screen door being kicked in alerted me to the danger lurking behind me. It was my then 12-year-old brother, Sean, with his brand new fully automatic airsoft rifle pointed at my back.

Well heck, that hurt. Guess I deserved that one.

Sean was nonchalant about it. I was just a kill in his day.

When Sean first said he would be heading to Virginia to attend a military college, it came as no shock. The guy knew what he wanted to be before he even knew how to walk. My brother and I were surrounded by military life and talk all the way from the beginning, with my Dad and Uncle being in the Air Force, and grandfather in the Merchant Marines.

Sean and Author Ian Noll. Photo from Ian Noll

So I guess it was in our history but for Sean, it was in every cell of his body.

Growing up with him became a personal living hell, especially since the varsity football and basketball player thought I resembled a mixture of Hitler and Saddam Hussein. So most of his anger, frustrations and pre-military training was directed toward me.  For the sake of saving a few words, I’ll say it wasn’t fun. He even claimed to other people that I was an adopted terrorist, all in an effort to prepare for his military life.

Now I’m not saying I didn’t have my own share of moments with my own joy coming from his pain, but let’s not go into how I broke his toe or chased him with a metal baseball bat around the neighborhood.

Well I shouldn’t lie, having him as my brother wasn’t all that bad. It was pleasant for the most part, I mean I got to hang with him and his older friends, was chauffeured around and most importantly, had someone to save me from my parents wrath. Somehow for some reason I would still get in trouble, even for his problems.

The most memorable fight that I am able to remember would have to be the reason I have a nice visible scar above my right eye. Coming into this fight I knew it was time for redemption. All the times he had stolen my G.I. Joe’s, shot me with an air soft gun, or just straight up socked me, it was time to get even.

It was my version of Muhammed Ali vs. Joe Frazier.

It started as a typical wrestling/boxing match on the bed, involving the typical trash talk, and the typical 7-year-old me trying to mimic the moves the WWE wrestlers did on TV. Honestly I can’t even remember what sparked the fight between us that day, but I do know that by the end of the day I would end up with my skull being glued together in the E.R. The way it happened was I decided I would try and tackle and take him to the ground. Okay, I lied, I had no idea what I was trying to do. I just threw my body at him hoping some part of me would connect with a solid hit on him. After I dove at him and he used what he called his “juke”, but in reality it was a desperate flop to the side of the bed to dodge me, resulted in me becoming best friends with the corner of a door.

Funny thing is, my parents blamed him for me getting hurt. The satisfaction of him getting in trouble overcame the pain from having my skull split.

Now that the summer is almost here, I can start to barricade my door and prepare myself for whatever “fun” he has in store for me now.

Sarcasm: A Tool For Life’s Language

By Maggie Dubbs –

I love sarcasm, I mean come on, who doesn’t. Oh wait, maybe some people actually don’t. Oh well. There’s not a day I go without making some kind of idiotic joke to a student, teacher or even my parents.

Maggie Dubbs

It’s not meant to personally attack that individual, though unfortunately it does happen that way sometimes, but I find it to be amusing. The best part about being able to understand and speak the sarcastic language is that you know you have a sense of humor. Life would be nothing without a couple laughs here and there. With that being said, certain people go about it a different way. Mine is to make fun of and mock things that appear funny to me.

I’m not cocky, but I have been told I am funny. And a part of that humor is mostly from being sarcastic. Some people would consider it mean.  I have no problem ripping off a phrase such as “No, you don’t say” and “Oh really? I would have never known” when something is completely obvious. It might frustrate people, but I always seem to get a chuckle out of it.

I also have no problem ripping people’s heads off and being bluntly honest.

Since people know me to be sarcastic, I used it to express my honesty without them even knowing. They take it as sarcasm and laugh about it, when I’m really trying to just get a message across about how I don’t like them or they need to go away, yet they don’t take it like that.

I remember one time in class Ian Noll asked me if I had any gum my response was “Yeah, I do. But not for you” which then followed with a bunch of “Oh shoot-s” from people at my table, and a fist bump from one. After the fact I did give Ian a piece of gum, but it was the fact that a little comment like that made me have the slightest grin on my face that would last the rest of my day to remind myself of what I thought was funny.

I found a picture one time with a guy with that certain sarcastic grin, the kind that doesn’t show your teeth, and one corner of your lips are turned slightly upward towards your eye so that your cheek muscle rises, but not to an extended amount. The picture had this guy and a saying that said “I’m not a sarcastic person, I’m just a funny person surrounded by idiots.”  I agree with this because it honestly just means we have our own types of humor. Some being that like sarcasm.

One of my good friends mentioned to me the other day that he hates sarcasm, and my response was, “How are we even friends, because you know that’s all I am,” and he agreed. But it didn’t bother him because  the sarcasm I use around him was not directed at him. Also because I wasn’t trying to be funny, it just kind of rolled off my tongue like a natural flow of words.

It just bothers me so much when people fail to realize the simple things in life.

For example, at the grocery store when your cart is full and it seems as if you never will have enough room on that black conveyor belt that probably has some water spots from the last person who used it. The cashier asks you “Oh would you like a bag for this?” like “No actually I’ll just put it all in my pocket” I mean really. Can’t you have some common sense?

I had a neighbor walk by one time when I was washing my car in the middle of July on a hot day. He said to me “Oh, you’re washing your car today I see,” my response to that was then “Nah, I’m just watering it to see if it will grow into a bus.”

My dad got a good laugh out of that one as well.

Going into restaurants is also interesting. When going up to the wooden, probably slightly chipped greeters station, and they ask you if you would like a table for your party of four. Like, “No, actually I’ll have a carpet. Carpet for four please.” Obviously we went there to eat dinner at table. Don’t ask me a  question like that.

Sarcasm. Probably .5 percent say “Oh, I see what you did there,” the other 99.5 think, “Are you really that stupid?”

While driving around deep windy roads with trees that top your view of anything else, I found myself behind a white panel van tracing the outline of its doors and license plate because it was going incredibly slow and I was bored. Going around a curve, with no other way to go on the road, this van put its turn signal on. I thought to myself, “Oh really, you’re turning? Oh good, me too.”

Everyday common sense things that people seem to miss.

When standing at an elevator and someone continually presses the button as if that will make it go faster, you say to them “Look at you go, you broke the elevator code, if you press the elevator button three times after the first hit, it goes into ‘hurry’ mode.” Like no, just wait like the rest of the average people waiting for the elevator to come down.

All in all, if there weren’t so many idiotic people in the world, I wouldn’t have a problem. But unfortunately I can’t change their way of thinking…or speaking. So I’ll continue my sarcasm and honesty forever.

Toto, I Don’t Think We’re in North Carolina Anymore…

By Brianna Kelly –

First day. New school. Senior year. Mid-year. What could possibly go wrong? I came from small town Concord, North Carolina. When I heard that I was moving to a school that was four times the size of my school, I panicked. It had taken a long time to become a Robinson Rowdie and it was a drastic change to try and call myself a Penn Manor Comet.

Jay M. Robinson High School (Source:

When I first walked into Penn Manor, I could feel everyone’s eyes on me – even though nobody was looking. I was just another face without a name. It made me claustrophobic. No story to tell, aside from being a small town girl. I slowly started to melt in and not feel so “different.”

Then I noticed the real changes.

I went to a high school where everybody knew everybody. Our parents all knew each other. My history teacher taught my parents when they were in high school. A girl in my math class was my mom’s best friend’s daughter. I’d known my best friend since preschool. Our senior class was something like 150 students. Our overall student body was 1500 students – give or take. Nobody was mean to anybody. What I never thought about at the time…what I never HAD to think about back then was how nobody really bullied anyone else.  If they did, they would have the rest of the school to deal with and the bully’s aunt Mary would have called him and in one afternoon, that would have been the end of it – if it had started at all.

But Penn Manor has a couple thousand more students than Robinson and nobody is supposed to wave at people they don’t know.  Even your friends have a different idea about what constitutes “nice.” There is trash talking behind your “best friend’s” back and you laugh and don’t do or say anything about it.

Brianna Kelly at home.

My slight southern twang to my voice is the first thing that irritated people. People thought it was funny.  They laughed and made me say things over and over to get a giggle.  My twang gets really pronounced when I’m angry. One group of students saw the worst of it when I caught them making fun a student: “What’s the point of ya’ll’s bullying? What release are ya’ll gettin’? Ya’ll know it bugs her so why keep up with the crap?” The group was shrinking away from me before long.  Was it my red face, my angry voice with its southern lash or just the overall vibe coming out of me from a girl they’d never seen before? One bully even went and apologized to the girl.

So I’m in my new school and learning a bunch of new things everyday. I’ve learned to watch what I say, who I talk to, even how I act around people. I don’t want to be that center of attention of people that I don’t know. Some just want a laugh and look for the most vulnerable person they can find. I’ve made sure that I’m not that person. I’ve stood strong about who I am and have stayed true to my way of life – respecting those who respect me and taking care of the weaker person, even if it’s me.

My Trip to Wing Heaven

By David Mohimani –

As I buckled my seat belt, awaiting the 45- minute trip to Reading, I prepared mentally for the task at hand.

We were headed to the famous Peanut Bar, where they provide you with an abundance of peanuts and, when you’re finished, they encourage you to throw your shells on the floor.

The car ride was uneventful mostly consumed by talks of Facebook updates and lacrosse practice.

When we arrived and I saw the shells on the ground I was hesitant to proceed, it isn’t something you’re used to seeing,but my stomach wouldn’t let my feet turn around.

The peanut shells were unsettling at first and raises question about sanitation, but they assure you everything is copacetic.

While the peanuts were appetizing, they were not the treat we traveled outside the comfort of Lancaster for.

No, No, we came for a much bigger reason.

All-you-can-eat buffalo wings.

I’m not sure if there is anything better than wings. They are the ultimate man-food, greasy,fattening,and delicious.

Photo of the inside the Peanut Bar courtesy of the restaurant


This isn’t my first time facing the daunting task or trying to consume more wings than the rest of my cohorts. I always leave bloated, messy, and usually sweat beads are dripping from my forehead.

I’ve yet to come up victorious, every year I fall to the heavy hitters like Errol”Double Barrel Cannon” Hammond  and Simon, but this year with a weaker field that included two rookies I thought this is my time capture the belt.

There are two simple rules to our annual wing eating contest.

1. Clean all the meat off the wing

2. No using the bathroom.

Everything else is allowed.

I had been preparing myself all day for the task at hand,I even skipped lunch, which is rare for me.

The first round of wings came promptly.

The heavenly aroma penetrated my nostrils bringing my hunger and love to a crescendo before taking that first delicious bite.

The thick special sauce dripped from my hands and face as I easily knocked down the first 10.

My strategy was to eat fast and avoid bleu cheese if possible. Also the most difficult part is trying to limit my soda consumption.

Blue cheese, while extremely tasty, is an easy way to fill yourself up quick, so even though I love it if I wanted to win I’d have to avoid it.

I finished the first round faster than the rest of my competition.

I was in my zone.

The next five came out and I once again downed them faster than anyone else.

Fifteen wings down and I felt like I could go for 60.

Everything was going well, twenty-five wings done and still no signs of letting up.

Then around wing twenty-seven I started to feel the dreaded food wall. That certain grumbling,no it’s not really grumbling it’s like there are 10 anti-war protesters putting up a human barrier in your stomach that indicates ” No More.”

I have heard all about the wall from one of my favorite TV shows, Man Vs Food.

The host goes around the U.S attempting all different types of food challenges, including multiple wing challenges.

I’ve seen him power through much tougher challenges than this, so I used him as my inspiration.  I recalled when he took down five pounds of nachos in Michigan or ate six of the hottest wings in the World in Detroit.

I finished my 30th wing, although I must admit it took me a couple extra bites to get it down.

The next round came out.

The smell that once brought me delight now made me nauseous. The sauce that once electrified my taste buds now felt thick and disgusting.

My only chance at eating more wings was to go to my secret weapon.

The bleu cheese.

I had held off eating it so far because I knew it would only fill my stomach quicker, but this was the Superbowl and I needed to pull a Mario Manningham out of my hat, I needed to play a David Frese in the World Series, I needed to pull kobe during the… damn well Kobe is always clutch.

I used the Blue Cheese to change up the taste in a hope to ignite my hunger once more.

I smothered my 31st wing in the thick,creamy, and magnificent dressing.

31 down.

I was no longer in the lead. The wrestler had overtaken me for the top spot, which should not come as a surprise considering he spent that last three months eating nothing more than lettuce and carrots. He was making up for lost time and he quickly passed by sucking the meat of his 36th wing.

I downed my thirty second wing… and then it happened.

I felt it.

I was full.

There was just no space left.

I peered down to my sauce covered plate, 3 wings looked back at,  they were taunting me. They knew they had beat me yet again, it was the same look Hempfield or Township has after we lose another close game to them. That look of supreme satisfaction in conquering your opponent.

I put my head down in defeat.

Once again I would emerge as the loser.

At the end of the day I was $10 poorer,had gotten wing stains on my shirt, drove 45 minutes, and had put myself into a serious food coma.

I definitely left the Peanut Bar full, but far from satisfied.





It’s Not How Often You Get Knocked Down, It’s How You Get Back Up

By Alicia Ygarza –

Injuries suck.

One of our most important games of the year, and this has to happen. My question is, why did it have to happen to me?

I’m not going to lie, when you first get hurt you kind of enjoy it because you’re babied by your parents. But when you’re sitting on the bench, that feeling of anger out weighs that great feeling of being babied.

I did our trainer’s preseason workouts to a T, and those workouts were killer. But not even those infamous Jon Zajac workouts were a match for my ankle.

I’m not very prone to injuries, in fact, no one in my family is, but my ankles seem to let me down the most. My ankles even let me down more than my knees, knees that can crack more than my neck.

A photo of my ankle a week after the injury

Two years ago, it was my right ankle that gave up and had me cozy on the bench for six games. This year it’s my left ankle, and I have to say, I’m happy it wasn’t my right. At least the last time it happened, I didn’t have my license yet.  Could you imagine me driving home after my game with a huge ice pack on my ankle weighing the peddle down?

On top of that I was crying since it was a really important game. Add the two factors together, unstable emotions + terrible aching foot= scary car ride. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but thanks left ankle for taking the initiative over the right.

Let me recall my infamous ankle injury of 2009-2010, I was jumping up for a rebound and when I landed my ankle turned toward the outside, chipping a piece of my bone off. Man did that hurt, and it was actually considered a fracture by the doctors. This year, I was jumping up for a rebound and when I landed my ankle turned toward the outside. WOW, what a coincidence.

At that moment I felt every ligament in my ankle stretch like a five foot long piece of gum.

“Oh not again,” I thought to myself as I laid on the ground signaling for a timeout.

One thing you should know about me is I’m not a crybaby. I never cry during basketball except when I get hurt, and this was a moment when I shed a tear. However, being a team captain and having a team with predominately juniors and sophomores, I wanted to teach my team to be tough players. So as soon as my eyes got watery and that one tear fell, I sucked up every ounce of pain and calmly explained to trainer Steve what happened.

“Will I be able to play again? How will my team do without me? Oh I hope it’s not broken!”

These thoughts circled my mind as I sat on the benching taking note of the crowd of people staring at me.

“Man I can’t let my team down,” I thought over and over again.

A photo of me shooting in the Warwick game before I got hurt

After my ankle was re-taped, I was told by Steve to perform a few ankle exercises, which I passed. Then I was told to try jogging back and forth to see how powerful the pain was.

The pain wasn’t bad at all and I felt great…at least that’s what I told Steven.

“Yeah it feels okay, it’s just a little sore that’s all,” I said to Steve, trying to make him believe I was feeling better.

“Okay you look like you can move well and if it’s not hurting you, you can play the second half,” he said.

A few shuffles and jump-ups later, the second half ticked around.

The game was intense, and I knew right from the start I wasn’t going to be able to play 100 percent.

My ankle was throbbing, like a brain that had taken in too much information, like the pounding in your head you get when you have a concussion, like the way your head feels after your parents have nagged you about something a thousand times.

Get it, it hurt bad.

One rebound was taken from me, which is very uncommon, and a pass was thrown to me but I couldn’t run to catch it in time.

“Come on Alicia, pick it up,” I said to myself.

Don’t you hate those moments when you do something bad, and when every possession is crucial? At that point I knew I needed to step my game up..I just hoped I could.

There were about three minutes left and we were down by five points, that’s when I decided I was going to forget about my pain and give those three minutes every ounce of my determination to win.

One steal and then an assist to my teammate to cut the lead by three.

A second steal and then a drive to the basket to cut the lead to one after two made free throws. I was feeling like my old self again.

Yes, I could do it.

But sadly we were forced to foul them and they drilled each foul shot. Yet it gives me hope, I know that if I could create two great defensive plays like that at the end of the game, imagine what damaged I could of caused the entire game.

I know next time Warwick will be in for an eye-opening game, then we’ll no longer be tied for second place with them.

A comparison of my left ankle to my right ankle

It’s been a week and three days now, and I’m almost fully recovered. Although there is still some pain in my ankle, I’ll be playing tonight and helping my great team (who won two games without me) get a victory.

It’s great what a ton of ice and “stim” can do. All I know is that in two years when I’m playing for Eastern Mennonite University, I can expect another sprain.

But next time, I’ll be ready for it.

For more of my musings, view my blog:

Just Call Me “Little T-Muss”

By Kyle Musser –

The name is Kyle Musser, but I’m known as “little T-Muss” by all of my brother’s friends.  For a long time that was a bad thing.

T-Muss was the nickname that Tyler was called ever since elementary school.

To all the older kids I lived in the shadow of my brother Tyler and it used to make me very mad.

Kyle Musser - "little T-Muss"

All I wanted was a name. I just wanted to be considered cool by his older friends.

We would play sports in the backyard and as the tag-a-long brother, I was always the last pick and of course, like always, they didn’t use my real name.

Instead, they called me, “little T-Muss.”

It’s not that I was bad at the sports we played such as football, basketball and baseball. I felt I must have been just too uncool to the older kids.

As the little brother, I was sometimes picked on and I sometimes got discouraged – to the point where I would run home with grass stained pants and tears streaming down my face.

The infamous line I used to hear was, “If you can’t run with the big dogs then stay on the porch.”

I loved sports though so I continued to play with the big dogs whenever I could.

But no matter how well I did and no matter how hard I tried, I was always called “little T-Muss.”

I never despised my brother for it, although it still really upset me that they just wouldn’t call me by my real name.

Then in 2009 my perspective on people calling me “little T-Muss” changed for the rest of my life.

Tyler was a standout senior football player at Penn Manor that year.  He played linebacker and wide receiver.

It was a chilly night, with the bright lights shining and the smell of the turf rising into the air. The Comets were the away team at Exeter High School.

My brother used to be the class clown and was always pulling pranks and joking around with the team.  So when he didn’t get up after one of the plays, I thought he could be playing a practical joke.

He stayed face down on the field.

Something just didn’t feel right. This wasn’t one of his stupid little pranks that he had been pulling all his life, this was serious.

After the training staff brought him off the field they started checking him for a concussion.

All the time Tyler was begging to go back in the game because he had such love and passion for the game.

He wasn’t allowed to go back in the game and had to go to the doctor’s office the next week.

They found out he didn’t have a concussion.

The cause of him collapsing on the field was because he had a problem with his heart called Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome (WPW).

This occurs when you have extra electrical pathways in your heart.

The doctor who checked out his heart said that this was one of the worst cases he had ever seen and that Tyler should have never walked off the field that chilly Friday night.

I couldn’t have imagined losing my brother. He was the one person I could always rely on no matter what. No matter if we were fighting or if we were completely fine, I knew I always had him.

He had to get a surgery to eliminate the extra pathways.

While he was in the hospital, Penn Manor had another game. It was killing Tyler not to be out there.

This game had a different feel to it because I knew I wouldn’t be seeing my brother playing out there.

Instead everyone on the sidelines decided to wear the number 21 written on their taped up wrists, cleats, and even on one player’s cast.

I was asked to lead the team on the field while wearing his jersey, number 21.

I finally felt cool and accepted by his friends because it was their idea to let me do it.

In the locker room before we took the field his friend, Sean Noll, called back to me, “Hey little T-Muss get up here.”

I ran right up to the front with chills, sweaty hands and the image of my brother lying in the hospital bed running through my mind.

As I was standing there I realized that when he called me the nick name I wasn’t upset that he didn’t use my real name.

I finally realized that I was respected and that I was the brother of a very respected kid in the Penn Manor community. I realized no matter what name I was called as a kid I was just happy to be able to see my brother everyday. It didn’t matter that his friends didn’t respect me then and it didn’t matter that they didn’t call me my real name. It just mattered that I had Tyler.

The name is Kyle Musser, but if you call me “little T-Muss,” don’t worry, I won’t get mad.