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      Elise Henn (12) is one of South’s most beloved students.  Swimmer, homecoming candidate, and tennis player, Elise is involved enough to have her fair share of startling stories both on and off the court.  However embarrassing a story is, though, some can be just as scary as they are entertaining.  Elise definitely hit her moment head-on last year during the girls’ tennis season.

     Practice started off that day as it usually did.  Warm-ups, hitting the ball around, then practicing individual and doubles matches.  Little did Elise know that day would be far from ordinary.  As the day progressed, Elise started to get the ball more and more.  After one hard hit started coming towards her, she prepared to hit the the ball with all her concentration and strength.  She wheeled back, racquet in hand, she hit the tennis ball as hard as possible.

     Although she didn’t hit the ball right on, she surely didn’t miss the ball either.  She seemed to miscalculate the timing of her swing, and the side of her tennis racquet sent the ball rocketing towards her face: specifically her eye.  As her doubles match partners looked on, Elise quickly knew what had happened.

     “I would have been really embarrassed, but Elise played it off really well,” said Lockugamage.

     As she started to examine the aftermath of her hit, she realized that she could not see out of the eye that recieved the startling hit.  Soon after, her coach sent her to the trainer.  As she gingerly opened the door to the trainer, a rush of embarrassment filled her as she realized the situation of having to explain her injury.

     “I was with a bunch of big, tough guys who actually had hurt themselves; and here I am a little tennis girl who hit herself in the eye,” said Elise.

     As the trainer asked her for her name and injury, she stood in front of the rest of the line explaining the incident.  An even more worrisome and serious situation dawned as her as she was told she might have a torn cornea.  At that point she was trying not to cry, even though most of the injured athletes knew.

     Turns out, Elise could see just fine, and she has no eye problems.  But she came to school the next day, wearing her first black eye proudly.  I think she did what was best.  A situation faced her, and she had to take it head-on, even if she got hurt in the process.  In the larger realm of things, anyone could take on anything, even if getting hurt was part of the process, so why not take a chance, and swing at it as hard as you can.

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