N. Carroll in need of a spark

December 18, 1992|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

The daily scene around the North Carroll basketball team is a dismal one.

The young and winless Panthers (0-4) seem to be on the verge of accepting their losing ways.

It's obvious the team needs a boost, maybe an experienced veteran to take charge on the floor.

Someone like senior point guard Mike Roberts, a fiery player who never stops hustling.

"We're dead at practice," said Roberts. "No one shows much emotion. We need someone to step up. It's not like they're not trying but we don't have a lot of size and need to make up for it with enthusiasm. I hope we don't accept losing."

But Roberts can only watch from the sidelines these days as he tries to overcome a lingering bone formation in his right quadricep.

The bone formation resulted from a deep muscle bruise that Roberts suffered in a North Carroll soccer game against Francis Scott Key on Sept. 29.

Roberts, a striker on the soccer team, was going after a chip pass in front of the goal when he collided with Key goalie John Engel, whose knee hit Roberts in the right quad.

At first, Roberts thought the injury was just a bad charley horse and he left the game for only five minutes. He played three more soccer games.

"But the whole right quad hardened and I had no motion," said Roberts whose right leg is heavily taped. "Sometimes I think it will never go away. I'm getting ultrasound for it and rest."

jTC North Carroll athletic trainer Bill Tyner believes that rest is the best medicine for Roberts.

"It's one of those injuries you can't put any timetables on," said the trainer. "You just have to wait until it heals. The bone formation occurs if you play too soon after getting a deep muscle bruise."

After missing the last four soccer games and the first two weeks of basketball practice, Roberts returned to practice with the Panthers Nov. 30 in hopes of being ready for the Dec. 4 opener against Hereford.

He made it through four days of practice and the season opener, but went down in the second game against Glenelg when he got hit on the right leg.

"Mike got hurt just 30 seconds after he went back into the Glenelg game," said North Carroll basketball coach Troy Warehime. "I feel badly about it. I had just told him to sit out the rest of the Glenelg game and be ready for our next game against Francis Scott Key since that was a more important game. But he wanted to go in."

Warehime used Roberts only sparingly before he reinjured the right quad.

"I was bringing him along slowly," said the first-year coach. "I started him but played him only two minutes in each quarter."

Now Roberts often wonders what might have happened if he had not tried to return to action with the basketball team at the start of the season.

"Sometimes I think it might have been best to sit out until our Christmas tournament," said Roberts. "But other times I believe it wouldn't have made any difference. The leg would still be the same."

Warehime isn't sure when Roberts will be back.

"I haven't talked to the physical therapist lately," said Warehime. "It would be great to have Mike back for our tournament. We've been successful in it and having Mike would help. He's not a great talent but he gets the job done with hard work."

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