The Baker Orange

Clark, Marra forced to watch from sideline

Story by Kallie Fischer, Writer

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Despite being ranked second in the county, the Baker University football team has faced some adversity due to the injuries of at least two key players. All-American sophomore wide receiver and kicker Clarence Clark and sophomore quarterback Nick Marra have been watching recent games from the sideline.

“I have a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in my left knee and a broken fibula in my right leg,” Marra said. “The ACL is a re-occurring injury, and this is my third ACL tear in the past 18 months in the same knee. The fibula injury was caused by getting hit by a defender against Graceland.“

Director of Sports Medicine Lynn Bott treats and rehabilitates the injured players. He said that knee and ankle injuries are more prevalent in the collision sport of football.

“Most are due to lateral blows to the lower extremity that result in valgus stress to the knee, excessive eversion or inversion of the ankle, but other knee injuries are non-contact and usually result in an anterior cruciate ligament injury of the knee,” Bott said. “Most collision injuries are not preventable, but non-contact injuries may be preventable to a certain extent.”

Clark is also recovering from an ACL injury that he suffered in the first game of the season against Ottawa.

“Injuries are a part of the sport, and it is something that all athletes have to go through,” Clark explained. “The team this year is dealing very well with injuries because we have such good depth, and we have shown that we can overcome adversity playing the way that we have been this year.”

Both Clark and Marra will require ACL surgery .

“I am playing through the ACL and will have surgery on that at the end of the year,” Marra said. “Right now I am waiting for my fibula to heal and that will keep me out a total of 4-6 weeks. During this time I try to help the other quarterbacks as much as I can and I try to keep my team motivated.”

Like Marra, Clark supports his teammates while he recovers.

“I go to football practices when I can, and if I can make it up to the field on that day then I’ll do that,” Clark said. “I will help them with anything that they need, because some of them were younger receivers and would want to know how we would play at game speed and some of the plays.”

Marra said that having multiple key players injured but still remaining undefeated says a lot about Baker’s football program.

“It shows how much depth and talent we have on this team,” Marra said. “I think a lot of players on this team that are backups here would be starters elsewhere. We have great team chemistry and that shows with our continued success.”

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