The Crutch Conglomerate


MIke Costello

Macy Piechowski, and Ava Koopman help Zayda King-Henke get back to classes after spraining an ankle in PE

The 2019-20 school year began with a large number of Cotter students who, due to injuries to knees, ankles, and feet, were forming an army near the elevator before every class.

There was a period when the elevator was out of service and they took to hobbling up the stairs.

For awhile it seemed there was a huge influx of people on crutches  taking over the building, and the elevator. Torn ACLs, broken bones, and rolled ankles led to crutches adding to the mix of congestion in building dealing with tighter spaces due to Roger Bacon renovation.

Lexi Hadaway, now a junior at Cotter, was apart of this group last year, acquiring a knee injury while playing volleyball in February.

She noted a few issues in particular with the building that just added to the stress of trying to get to class on time when you’re already slowed down. First, the elevator showed to be an issue, especially with breakdowns, she noted that this probably made it even harder to trek through the school.

With already steep stairs, it does not become any easier to climb with crutches if the elevator is broken. On the side staircases, there were often backups as well, with one person in the front holding up the line and no room on the side to pass due to others walking in the other direction of the stairs.

Due to the temporary combining of buildings, the issue of overcrowded hallways continued to increase with the addition of crutches, making it even harder for injured and non-injured students to traverse the school throughout the day.

Claire Ebertowski, a junior, was on crutches for a few weeks this past fall due to a knee injury. For her, the main issue was carrying around all her items, a feat impossible on her own.

“While I hopped down to lunch, I kept dropping my lunchbox, all the three blocks, it was not a fun time,” Ebertowski said.

She also mentioned to me that she also had issues with the elevator, and not just during its temporary closing. Finally, Claire had many issues, as did Lexi, with the crowded hallway.

“It was a collision course all day, all the people would be in the way, and when people stopped randomly, I couldn’t just stop as easily on them because of the crutches,” Claire said.  “It was one of the toughest school experiences I’ve had.”

Crutches clearly were a problem for the people using them, but due to the school hallways’ increased traffic, this also affected those not on crutches, witnessing all these people struggling to fit through the hallways due to large area the physical crutches or wheelchair take up, we also witnessed and experienced this random increase impacting how we get around school every day.

Now that the crutch conglomerate is over, for the most part, the once pack of people waiting for the elevator has been cut down to only a few now or again. With the Rodger Bacon building returning once the renovations are done, hopefully, the currently crowded hallways will wind down a little bit before a plague takes over yet again, grabbing the ankles and knees of every student it can find.

A partial list of students who have been on crutches in the 2019-2020 school year:

Name – grade – activity where injury occurred

Ethan Glodowski, grade 12, ACL & miniscus tears, basketball

Anna Gu,12, ankle, chasing a friend

Manya Kamara, 12, knee strain, figure skating

Martin Kim, 12, knee, football

Jake Mueller, 12, miniscus tear, football

Jenna Rickoff, 12, hamstring tear, volleyball

Tia Trainor, 12, ankle ligament tear, soccer

Sam Wantock, 12, ankle sprain, football

Angela Zhen, 12, ankle, fall on ice

Morgan Arnold, 11, stress fracture, summer running

Claire Ebertowski, 11, knee strain, track/cross country

Milla Puente, 11, stress fracture, soccer

Charlie Reilly, 11, ACL and miniscus, football/basketball

Zander Rusert, 11, knee and ankle, football and wrestling

Connor Yocum, 11, ankle sprain, basketball

Rachel Millering, , volleyball

Coco Costello, 8, broken foot, trampoline park

Jase Vafaei, 8,miniscus injury in baskball

Macy Piechowski, 7, feet and ankles, cross country

Madison Riley, 8, torn miniscus, softball

Victoria Glasspoole, 8, fell down skiing

Jayden Konter, 7, strained hamstring, football

Patrick Morgan, 7, sprained ankle running on steps

Kaitlyn Waldera,  7, sprained ankle, volleyball

Karianna Barrientos, 7, achilles strain, dance

Zayda King-Henke, hyperextended knee, PE class

Kelsi Rose, 7, sprained ankle running in gym