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Girls soccer: Jefferson Academy rallying around Wendt after injury

Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
A broken leg will keep Jefferson Academy senior Heidi Wendt sidelined for the Jaguars’ postseason runs in both soccer and track.

 

BROOMFIELD — Heidi Wendt knew it the moment it happened.

In an instant the flood of emotions hit the newly crowned prom queen as she lay prone on the Jefferson Academy turf.

No state soccer tournament.

No state track meet.

“It was immediate pain and I knew something was wrong,” Wendt said. “It really hurt.”

In a match against Mullen on April 25, Wendt was making a move on goal after being fed what she called “a really pretty through ball,” from Marissa Chapman but was beat to it by the Mustangs keeper.

Instead of clearing the ball, the goalie caught Wendt’s leg just below her shin guard and the impact was enough to break the senior’s leg in two spots.

After laying on the field for well over a 30 minutes — with Chapman at her side — Wendt was taken by ambulance to the hospital and immediately rushed into surgery. It was a procedure that took a little bit longer than expected because of Wendt’s athletic bone and muscle structure, but eventually ended with a titanium rod being placed in her leg.

It was a devastating blow to the Jaguars soccer team, which enters this week’s Class 3A state tournament as the No. 3 seed despite losing two of its final three matches without Wendt.

“We’ll have to make some adjustments, but hopefully we are all a little bit healthier,” said JA soccer coach Denise Sutton, whose team will host either Bayfield or Manitou Springs in the second round on Saturday. “But her and Alycia (Wright) have such a chemistry together, we will of course have to rebuild that.”

How deep is the bond between Wendt and Wright? It goes back to when each player was seven years old and something that is very difficult for each to talk about.

“We’ve been like the dynamic duo up top and she has been like my partner in crime and I feel lost,” said an emotional Wright, after her team suffered its first defeat last week against top-ranked Colorado Academy. “But we also have other players who will step up and help me.”

Said Wendt: “I feel really bad for her, because we worked really well together. The dynamic duo.”

Wendt and Wright have combined for 47 goals and 16 assists this season.

Arguably one of the most accomplished female athletes to ever walk the halls at Jefferson Academy, Wendt was also a force for the Jags track team. She had qualified individually in the 100 and the 200 (with a PR of 27.36) as well as the 4×100, 4×200 and sprint medley relays.

So now the grueling task of rehabilitation is underway for Wendt, who already has a commitment to play soccer at Colorado Mesa.

The doctors are very hopeful and confident that Wendt, who is not wearing a cast, will be walking before too long and should be jogging in the next four to six weeks.

“It is all dependent upon how I react to the therapy,” she said.

It is something the Mavericks coaching staff is more than aware of and have already been working closely with her before her arrival in Grand Junction.

“They said that they will create a plan and that they will help me get through this and that they will be there for me,” Wendt said. “There is no change in me not playing.”

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