Injuries plague Highlanders


One last ride: The boys basketball team hopes to make a playoff run for the third year in a row. The team expected a starting line up comprised of seniors Jake Monroe, Nick Fiumara, Mike Goga, Frank Owusu, and Jeremy Jenkins (left to right) .

Nick Pouch, Staff Writer

The Baldwin boys basketball team had made big plans for the season, until the unexpected happened — repeatedly.
Five seniors were set to be starters: Mike Goga, Nick Fiumara, Jeremy Jenkins, Jake Monroe, and Frank Owusu.
Then things changed when Owusu injured his shoulder during practice, knocking him out of the early part of the season. He later was cleared to play, but then was injured and knocked out of the lineup again. Then lightning struck again when Monroe fractured his ankle. Once again, the Highlanders were without a key player.
“Having Jake go down hurts the whole team as he was a great leader on and off the court,” Goga said. “As much as this injury hurts we need the young guys to step up in a big way.”
Those younger players knew what the challenge was.
“We were in shock, having two of our starters get injured. We all knew we needed to step up and fill in these slots,” junior Christian Barr said.
After the Monroe injury, sophomore Tekoah Henry was put in for Monroe.
“Tekoah stepped up big time in filling that spot,” Barr said. “He was hustling more on the court and going in as hard as he could.”
Unfortunately, Tekoah also went down with a knee injury during a drill in practice, and it was time for additional substitutions.
Going into the season, the team had been looking for one of the best seasons in recent memory.

“The whole team was extremely confident what we could have done this year. We knew each other’s play style and what we did well and what we needed to work on,” Jenkins said.
Goga also saw the potential because the team chemistry was so solid, and because of the boys’ history together.
“We were looking super strong since we have all played together before. We all knew who was good at what and we did not have that in previous years,” Goga said.
Fiumara agreed. “The chemistry was the best it has been in past years with all of this playing experience we have together. We could have been the best team in the section,” Fiumara said.
The team is trying to persevere through the injuries to make playoffs. They hope to make it farther than the Highlanders did the last two years: losing in the first round.
“We are looking to have a good and long run in the playoffs, but overall we just want to start a winning culture as well that can translate into future years,” Goga said.