By Steve Roth
Injuries are part of the game for a lot of athletes at Elon and Junior outfielder Niko Fraser has seen his fair share.
“A little over three weeks ago we were playing at Furman and I was playing center field,” Fraser said. “I think it was the fifth inning and there was a line drive hit over my head and I started running back. The warning track from what I recall was pretty small and I was closing in on the ball and I went to dive for it and I dove head first into the fence.”
The trainer then rushed out onto the field to administer concussion tests to Fraser. Despite his head crashing into the fence, he did not black out on the play so he wasn’t sure how severe the injury was.
“They [Furman] hit a pop fly to me,” he said, “and while the ball was in the air, I started yelling to Jake Luce, ‘I have no idea where I’m throwing it!'”
Fraser was immediately taken out of the game once he began showing signs of a concussion. He soon got dizzy and began feeling sick. But it wasn’t until he was taken out of the game and was seated on the bench that he was convinced that he had a concussion.
“While I was sitting there kind of fuzzy, not quite sure if I had one [concussion] or not,” Fraser said, “there was a bat that was propped up right next to me, and a bag hit it and it kind of did a domino-effect. The barrel of the bat hit me in the temple and that kind of sealed the deal.”
Fraser admits he isn’t one to shy away from making the big play.
“Most of the time, I don’t really heed caution or walls or anything in the outfield,” he said. “I kind of just see ball, and run.”
Though Fraser puts everything he has on the line for his team, he still feels the concussion symptoms weeks later from his dive.
“I wake up in the morning and forget that I have a headache,” he said. “Then I’ll walk to the bathroom or go to take a shower, and then all of the sudden it will start banging a little bit. I know whenever I’m in the sun for an extended period of time, my head just starts throbbing.”
The outfielder believes that even though he is not healthy enough to play, it’s still important to be with the team in the dugout when they have a game. However, even watching baseball has produced problems.
“You try to follow the baseball and you start to get dizzy a little bit, and if it’s hot out, you’ll start to get light-headed,” Fraser said. “The noise of a bat will start ringing in your ears. I feel like there’s a little drummer in my head sometimes.”
He said he’ll often need to stand next to the more quiet players during games to prevent headaches and other symptoms from returning. However, Fraser says that sitting out isn’t all bad.
“You can talk to the freshmen and try to teach them things going on in the game,” he said. “Reading a pitcher’s move or knowing the count or knowing just how the game works.”
Nonetheless, Fraser admits that sitting out with an injury is “absolutely miserable”. And he is certainly no stranger to sitting out with concussions. Including his high school career, Fraser has had a total of five concussions. He said that because of how many he’s had, there’s really no way to predict what the symptoms will be or how intense they will become.
Perhaps the toughest part of this specific injury would be its effect on other areas of college life.
“I pride myself on my studies,” Fraser said, “so it’s really chopped out baseball and school. So it’s been an all-encompassing injury.”
In the end, Fraser will continue to sit out until he is healthy enough to return, and the time being, he can only cheer on his teammates as they approach the Southern Conference Tournament on May 23.
It’s been a successful year at Phoenix14News thanks to a great team lead by the very talented graduating class of 2012. Thanks to our seniors for all their efforts!
By Addie Haney
Graduation is right around the corner and seniors are getting ready to leave Elon. But before they walk across the stage on May 19 and leave the green grass and brick buildings behind, some of them have things to check off their Elon bucket lists.
Lina Patton is one of those seniors who wants to make sure she completes her fair share of Elon activities before she graduates.
“I think I should send Smith Jackson an email and just go back and reminisce about some things,” she said.
Senior Margaux Lepretre’s goal before graduating also involves Dean of Student Life Smith Jackson: she wants to take a picture with either him or President Leo Lambert.
However, Senior Jesse Palmer’s bucket list item is a little more personal. He would like to thank one of his many Elon mentors.
“I would probably want to take my advisor, my voice teacher out to dinner,” Palmer said. “Just to be able to talk to them in a setting outside of class and just like thank them.”
These seniors have walked the halls of McEwen and McCrary and have eaten Colonnade’s weekend brunch since freshman year, but now, they are trying to finish out their Elon bucket list – things they think every student should do before graduating. One being festivus.
“Once you graduate,” Patton said, “you’re never gonna have another chance to roll around in the mud.”
Other popular things on the Elon bucket list include snagging a brick as a memento, and if you’re really daring, taking a dip in one of Elon’s many fountains.
But even if these seniors can’t score a brick or a romp in the water, they all agree that what they’ll miss the most are the friends and memories they’ve made at Elon.
“Most of all I’ll miss the community,” Palmer said. “I’ve just like made a great group of friends and they just mean so much to me. And just, as everybody goes their separate ways, it’s gonna be hard because you’ll never really have that community again.”
By Steve Roth
Two years ago Jack Selbo came to Elon to begin his college career. But almost immediately his roommate introduced him to the Reserve Officer Training Course (ROTC).
“I had a roommate who was all about it and freshman year I just wanted to experience something new. He said, ‘try this out’ and I was like, ‘Umm… okay!’ and it kind of took me to where I am today.”
With this change came more excitement as Selbo joined the National Guard a few months later. More recently he left the ROTC due to a shoulder injury but that injury has not kept him from serving for the National Guard.
“Leaving ROTC was wonderful because then I could focus a lot more on school,” Selbo says. “Juniors have to travel to Greensboro so you’re traveling out there every day so that’s taking a solid hour just to commute. Then you got at least two hours over there so that’s four hours out of every day except weekends.”
The decision to leave the ROTC may have been an easier one but Selbo didn’t know exactly what he was getting himself into when he joined the National Guard.
“I didn’t know how big a commitment National Guard would be because I thought it would be very state-run but…we’re getting deployed!”
Selbo flys out to Afghanistan on June 11th. On that day he will begin his 9-month deployment.
In the meantime he has been packing and preparing for early finals. He begins “in-processing” on May 4 when he will go through army basic training that will prepare him for his journey. His dad was in town over the weekend to help him pack and mentally prepare for what lies ahead.
Selbo says he plans on being involved in explosives and ensuring that rooms are safe to enter by other members of the army while in Afghanistan.
As June 11th approaches more and more of Selbo’s friends have heard the news that he will be leaving for an extended period of time and many are having trouble dealing with it.
“The one thing that I’m kind of sad about is that I have to kind of call it quits at school a year early. I hate saying goodbye to friends. A few friends wanted to throw me a going away party and that’s where it sort of just hit that I’m going to be saying goodbye to them for who knows how long and that’s just really, really sad,” Selbo admits.
Despite the sadness at times, Selbo emphasizes, “I’m really excited to kind of move on with my life… whenever my life pushes me in a certain direction, you just find the positives and roll with it.”
As for graduating, Selbo isn’t sure at this point what he’ll do since he’ll be leaving after his junior year. “I have no idea. I’m going to figure it out as I go,” Selbo says. “If I had to make a decision today, I would probably finish my degree doing some online courses because what I really want to do with my life is start up my own company.”
With so much to look forward to, Selbo even suggests a goal he’d like to accomplish down the road. “I’ve just always got something going on. I might write a book so people should buy it.”