Sitting on the Sidelines


Ella Goldman, Staff Writer

Students and parents filed into the bleachers on a chilly September night. Feet sunk into the turf, junior, Carlos Betancourt grabbed the back of his seat and turned around to look up at all the people attending the football game that Friday night. Unfortunately for him, the most he would be doing was  watching. Injured and unable to play, Betancourt was forced to watch his team from the sidelines last fall.

Betancourt suffered a spinal cord injury on his lower back while weight lifting earlier in the season. The pain was so severe he was unable to do basic tasks such as simply walking, but he claims that the pain wasn’t equal to the mental game it entailed. “It was mentally terrible. It destroyed me,” Betancourt remarked. But even still he claims, “The worst part of it all was the thought in the back of my head that I was letting my team down.”  

While he was sitting out, he still attended all practices and games and tended to lots of tasks that didn’t involve playing. He did things such as get water for his teammates, get equipment, and correct people where he saw they needed help. 

“It was difficult to watch my teammate struggle so much,” stated Betancourt’s close friend and teammate, Chase Castleberry. 

Despite his struggles, Betancourt was able to power through his difficult times thanks to his self-motivation. He didn’t want to let this cause the end of his football days. Although his situation was tough, he saw the light at the end of the tunnel. “It taught me determination and commitment,” he claimed. 

Although his injury will never fully heal, Betancourt hopes to join his teammates back on the field in January. He is unwilling to be stopped and let his team down yet another year.