By Adam Turer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Beau Wiles was looking forward to his senior year as the starting goalkeeper for the Moeller Crusaders.
A nasty broken leg suffered in preseason training ended his season before it began. His spirits could have been crushed, but the support of the Moeller and local soccer communities lifted him up. While enduring four surgeries, Wiles was impressed by the outpouring of support he received, not just from his teammates, but from programs at Mount Notre Dame, Badin, Anderson, and Mason.
"It honestly meant the world to me and my mom, especially. Sitting in the hospital the first week I was shown an unbelievable amount of support," said Wiles. "I can't thank them enough for their support and it does really help."
The devastating injury shook up the Crusaders. It wasn't just the challenge of finding a replacement at a key position so close to the start of the season; Moeller saw a senior leader unable to help his team the way he wanted to.
"From a personal perspective, it was extremely difficult for me to see Beau deal with his injury," Crusaders coach Mike Welker said. "Beau has a personality that can light up a room, and to see him in such pain was difficult on all of us."
The Crusaders have done everything they can to help Wiles with his recovery. They let him know that although he cannot contribute on the field this season, he is still a valuable member of the team.
"I think the team helped to lift Beau's spirits during a rough point in his life," said Welker. "His teammates all care for him as a friend first, and know how difficult it was for him to not be able to be around. I'm confident that the players' support in the hospital and during the school day has dramatically helped."
The recovery has been a long, slow process. Wiles has not been able to attend Moeller practices, but he has been there for most of the team's games. He started physical therapy this month, but will be on crutches for another six weeks. His leg was broken in 12 different places.
"The injury itself was pretty bad but the worst part about it is the timing of the situation," said Wiles. "Missing my senior year, which I had been training and working out from January to August for the season."
His teammates did everything they could to ensure that even though Wiles could not play this season, he still felt like a teammate. Wiles has been helpful to his replacement in goal, Ryan Galanie. The sophomore had not played soccer in two years, but Wiles sees a lot of himself in the youngster. He shares words of encouragement and tries to boost Galanie's confidence. It's his way of giving back to the team that has done so much for him over these past few months.
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