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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

Giving it all he’s got

Senior finds his way back to sport after season ending injury
Delaney Lueck
Senior Wyatt Goodlett, #60, runs back to his teammates to celebrate the win they secured against the Omaha North Vikings. With 7 seconds left in the fourth quarter, there was a field goal to be kicked, which occurred successfully, making the score 19-16. “I was super happy after our win against Omaha North,” Wyatt Goodlett said. “I worked really hard that game and felt proud of myself, especially since I played with a hurt shoulder.”

It only takes seconds for an injury to happen, yet they can end years of commitment and work that athletes have put into a sport. In September of 2022, senior Wyatt Goodlett suffered a knee injury in the fourth game of the football season against Creighton Prep, ending his junior year of sports.

Entering his junior year, Wyatt Goodlett was a starter on the offensive line for the Wildcats. He had no previous injuries and was ready to have a good year, yet there was a different plan in store for him. During his game, a defensive lineman was driven into his knee. After being taken off the field and being “cleared” back into the game, he knew something was wrong. Shortly following the game, he went to the doctors and discovered that he had broken the tibial plateau in his knee, which prevented him from playing the rest of the season.

“Being on the sideline sucked because I felt guilty due to the fact that I couldn’t help my team at all,” Wyatt Goodlett said. “Although I was not able to play, my mindset didn’t change too much. I just slowly started to not let the injury have so much effect on me. Once in a while, I will be reminded of my injury when I have to fix my knee braces or get taken out by my legs, but I’m back to playing how I used to.”

Wyatt Goodlett, #60, and his teammates lined up against Millard South in the first game of the year. It was Wyatt Goodlett’s first time back playing on the field after 11 months. “Although we lost this game which wasn’t the greatest feeling, I was happy to be playing again,” Wyatt Goodlett said. “I felt more comfortable with the offense and my teammates, and being a senior makes me want to play harder.”
(Delaney L)

Not only did the injury affect him physically, but mentally, too. His body had to recover from the injury, while also trying to keep a strong mindset in the process. He knew this injury could have kept him out of sports for good, and that when he was allowed to go back, he may not play the same again. Being sidelined really made him feel heavy with guilt because he couldn’t help his team. Senior Logan Johnson, also an offensive lineman, experienced an injury and felt sympathetic for Wyatt Goodlett. 

“I feel like an injury can make you a different person based on how you let it affect you,” Johnson said. “Some people think it’s the end of the world and will never come back the same, but others work hard to come back even better, and don’t look at it as a negative. They will find ways to achieve what they want, and I guarantee it was extremely hard for him to sit out and watch everyone do what he wanted to do. When you take something that someone loves away, it hurts. I can say that with confidence based on my experiences because I missed my entire sophomore year, and it sucked.”

Having friends and family in his corner when he was going through an injury and the recovery process was crucial. They helped encourage him and stay strong. Especially during a time like this, the injury kind of made him want to help other people so they wouldn’t feel how he did. Wyatt Goodlett was fortunate and had his parents, brothers, and sister in his corner. 

“As his sister, watching him stand on the sidelines knowing all he wanted to do was play wasn’t easy,” junior Kaleigh Goodlett said. “I think it took a toll on him because he knew he couldn’t just jump back into the game, but he knew his limits. Although he knew his limits, it was very easy for him to push aside his pain and try to get back on the field, but as his sister, I didn’t want to let that happen. I would tell him that if he wants to get back into the game he just had to be patient and that even if the recovery is slower than he wanted, it’ll make him a better person in the end.”

Finally listening to his sister’s advice, he was less hard on himself. As an athlete himself, he has so much love for the sport, and since this isn’t his first injury, he knows that it can give him a different perspective on the sport, like how injuries will slowly impact him. Coming back from an injury and being able to get the chance to play again proved a different type of commitment that he has for the sport. Not everyone is able to do that, whether it’s due to the fact that they are scared, or physically they are unable to.

His mentality changed when this damaging event happened. It can affect everyone differently though, depending on the type of person and how much that sport was really involved in their life. 

“My mentality changed for the better,” Wyatt Goodlett said. “I knew what I wanted, and I stayed persistent with it, although mentally, it was tough to handle. When it first happened, it didn’t feel real because I thought it was cramps, but then I couldn’t stand up, and even when I went back into the game after being cleared, it just didn’t feel right. After realizing what had actually happened, it hit me that this was now real life, and truly, the only thing that made me come back was my love for football. The environment is something you just can’t experience in any other sport, and I wasn’t ready to leave that.”

Everyone has a different story, and being able to recover from an injury and go back to 100% is something most people never get to experience. But after hours and hours of rehab and working towards normal again, Wyatt Goodlett is now back on the field playing his senior year. The fact that he put himself out there even with the possibility it could happen again and cause more damage to his body proves that he wants it more than everyone else. Things can happen, and he could have let it stop him, but instead, he put his mind to it and worked extremely hard. He defined pure determination. 

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About the Contributors
Sophia Eljamal, Staff Reporter
Sophia is a junior at Millard West and this is her first year on the staff for the CATalyst. She likes traveling around the world and running. Over the summer, she traveled to numerous countries in Europe. In her free time, she enjoys going shopping, hanging out with her friends, and listening to music. She also loves to work and watch her favorite shows and movies on Netflix. Sophia looks forward to writing stories about sports and working with her classmates to produce interesting stories.
Delaney Lueck, Features Editor
Delaney is a senior and this is her first year on the CATalyst staff, but third year with journalism. In Yearbook, she has had a past role of Copy-Editor. Outside of journalism, Delaney enjoys taking pictures, spending time with friends, traveling, being with family, and being a part of the track team.

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