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Page 2B Sports Hays Free Press July 12, 2017 4- PHOTO BY NANCY WILHITE zone q The Hays 12U Lumberjacks will head to Tampa Bay, Fla. this month as they play in the zone qualifier tournament July 27-30. Members of the team are (Back row, L-R) Coach Chris Maldonaldo, Coach Eddie Mindieta Jr., Coach Robert Wilhite, (second row, L-R) Abraham Gonzales, Logan Larson, Xavier Mindieta, Will Graham, Zane AIIbright, Jake Villarreal, Jaden Riffle, Coach Chris Maldonaldo Jr., (third row, L-R) Lorenzo Bazan, Jacob Covington, Logan Cameron, Kolbe Ashby, (front row, L-R) Copelan Wilhite, Cesar Maldonaldo, Keagan Tucker, Braden Foley. Continued from pg. 1B fracture of his tibia and tibia. "When the coaches looked for us in the stands, we knew something was wrong," Mag- gie said. A call to EMS was made and roughly 40 minutes later, Marcos was shuttled to Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin. Once at the hospital, Mar- cos endured a four-hour sur- gery to repair his broken leg. When he awoke, Marcos remembered feeling a lot of pain - and fear. He also could feel the incision left by sur- geons. As a result, Marcos said he refused to look at his leg, believing that if he didn't see his leg, the injury didn't actu- ally happen. Ultimately, the gravity of the situation proved too much to keep in. "I just broke down in the hospital room and started cry- ing in my bed," Marcos said. "I was broken down." But Marcos' problems quickly worsened. A second surgery was conducted to combat compartment syn- drome, a condition where severe trauma causes high pressure to build in a limb, cutting off blood circulation and possibly leading to ampu- tation. Doctors eventually at- tempted to place a skin graft on Marcos' leg. Then, Mar- cos began to contract an infection in his leg; it was an issue that didn't subside until June 2015. As a result, Marcos kept going back to the operating table as doctors tried their best to repair him. As of October 2016, Marcos has undergone more than 20 surgeries to repair his leg. The toll of those procedures hit Marcos harder than any football player could. "After so many, it takes a toll on your body. You feel de- pressed by the medicine you take," Marcos said. "It's not feeling like rock bottom, but you feel depressed and you don't want to do anything." IMPACT OFF THE FIELD only on his feet, but to be able As a result of his injury, to walk again. That task was made more Marcos was wheelchair bound difficult after Marcos was fitted for the first six months of his for a brace to combat drop injury. He also missed thefoot, which was caused by a majority of his freshman year damaged nerve. at Hays. Teachers such as Sarah Ashworth, Hays High Laurie Callis helped by going assistant athletic trainer who to Marcos' home helped Marcos' recovery, said and helping him PT involved calf raises and the "The big thing with homework use of ankle bands. There was and other school also work to strengthen the hip was to prove related matters, muscles. Maggie said "He was not able to do things my doctors she took Familyuntil he was cleared," Ashworth wrong, who Medical Leave of said. "Then it was like two years Absence (FMLA) worth (of PT) in six months." said football from her job toOne primary constant was tend to Marcos,Barrera's drive to get back on wou Id n't be taking him to the field with his teammates, a thing in my andfromap- with whom he's played since pointments, little league. future ... I It didn't take Proving the doctors who said long, however, he may never play sports again told myself it forMarcos'situ- wrong gave him ample movti- doesn't matter ationto improve, vation. By summer 2015,For Marcos, the toughest how long it Marcos was obstacle to overcome was the given the go- mental wall. took, as long ahead to start the physical rehabili- "The biggest thing was the mental aspect, to keep on as lget there."tationprocess. pushing myself to not give up It was grueling and not let the injury keep me -Marcos Barrera work involving a team of physicalaway from the game," Marcos said. trainers, as well as members of the Hays High athletic train- ing staff. Supporting Marcos BACK ON THE GRIDIRON was Neal LaHue, Rebel athletic All of the hard work finally coordinator and head football paid off in March when Marcos coach, as well as his team-was cleared to play. mates. Maggie could see how the All worked to get Marcos not news brightened her son, who PHOTOS COURTESY OF MAGGIE BARRERA is normally a stoic person. He began to push the limits of his therapy, as well as started run- ning and jogging. Like many parents, Mag- gie had mixed feelings when her son was told he could play again. Even with her apprehen- sion, Maggie understands the determination her son brings, fueled by his desire to play. "There's no slow for Marcos," Maggie said. Marcos now eyes the chance to try to hit the field with his teammates this fall. "The big thing was to prove my doctors wrong, who said football wouldn't be a thing in my future," he said. '3 told my- self it doesn't matter how long it took, as long as I get there." Astros: World Series worthy?. Continued from pg. 1 B in a franchise sometimes leads to egos bubbling to the top. Such issues don't seem apparent at the surface level for the Astros. Such selflessness is a boon for a fanbase that's waited far too long for a remm to success. However, pennants aren't won before the All-Star break. World Series clinching champagne showers in the locker room don't happen in July. There's a lot of work to do for a Houston team that's now got the attention of the American League. The 47-win Cleveland Indi- ans perhaps pose the greatest playoffthreat to the Astros in the long run. Perennial powerhous- es in the Boston Red Sox and NewYorkYankees could also be problematic. And then there's the potential for a second half meltdown. At- lanta Braves and NewYork Mets fans can attest to that. Even if Houston gets to the playoffs, struggles to perform are a constant in the franchise's history. Yet there is something a little different with this team. They're determined and talented, but most of all, consis- tent. If the Astros play their cards right, aWorld Series Champions banner may finally be raised to the rafters in Texas. i I I MICAH TAMBUR - LEHMAN A .313 batting average and .375 slugging percentage in 16 games played was how Micah Tambur closed his second season at Southwest College in New Mexico. Tambur notched five hits and scored twice this season, while also driving in two runs batted in. On the diamond, Tambur finished with a .943 fielding percentage and had 33 put-outs. RYAN MCSPADDEN - HAYS While missing the 2016 season, Ryan McSpadden closed his cross country career at Dallas Baptist University with a plethora of honors, as well as being named to the Heartland Commissioners Honor Roll all four years in college. McSpadden's best finish came in 2015 when he finished eighth at the UCO Land Run in Edmonton, Okla. PATRICK VILLAREAL - LEHMAN A four-year career on the track at Dallas Baptist University came to a close for Patrick Villarreal, who assisted the Patriots to a second place finish in the 2015 Heartland Conference Championship. Villarreal's best finish came in 2015 when he finished second place in the men's outdoor 5,000-meter run in the McMurry UniversityWar Hawk Classic. ASPEN SAL.AZAR - HAYS In her second season at Luna Community College, Aspen Salazar finished with a .317 batting average and a whopping .417 slugging percentage during the 2017 season. Salazar compiled 46 hits, including 11 doubles and a home run at the plate, She finished by scoring 27 runs in 145 at-bats. On defense, Salazar had 95 put-outs and 15 assists. Continued from pg. 1B Olympian)," Fitzgerald said. "You want to take it all in." A life in athletics is a family trait for Fitzgerald, who is a triplet. One of Fitzgerald's sisters is a cheerleader, while the other is a dancer. They got their athletic genes from their parents, who were also athletes in their youth. Kim Fitzgerald, Nikay- la's mother, ran track and also played baseball and volleyball in high school. While Kim said she was active in her youth, she marvels at her daughter, who showed her athletic abilities at an early age. "Her determination is stronger than I have ever seen," Kim Fitzger- ald said. "It sometimes surprises me." As she enters high school, Nikayla opted to remain in track and now eyes success at the high school level. Nikayla said she understands the rig- ors high school track will offer and the heightened level of competition. Setting a new personal record in her events, while also potentially going to state are her short-term goals. But Nikayla also eyes the chance to one day run at the University of Texas at Austin, and po- tentially reach the Olym- pics, which is the biggest stage in the world for track and field athletes. Nikayla said she looks up to Olympian Sonya Richards-Ross, a Texas alumna, who she said is "inspiring" and has competed in many of the same events as Nikayla. "She went to the University of Texas (at Austin) and broke records and she's just inspiring," Nikayla said. 4- illi I I ill I I ii ii[ i: :il ii!i l .... li ]!