It was something that Brandon Gerlach had done hundreds, maybe even thousands of times since he took up soccer as a boy.
In a nonleague match in December, the Burroughs High senior midfielder slid a few times on the artificial turf, opening a sizable wound on his thigh.
“I was wearing my old sliders because I couldn’t find my new ones and those ones had a hole in them,” Gerlach said. “I ended up sliding a couple of times and I opened up my leg pretty good. But I just thought ‘OK, I’ll just put some bandages over it and it should be fine.’”
Patched up, Gerlach didn’t miss his next start for the Indians. Being one of the team’s captains, the senior wasn’t going to let his injury sideline him.
However, in the second straight contest, he slid right on the same spot.
“In the next game, I just ended up grinding it down and it got pretty bad,” Gerlach. “Then it got infected and that’s when I had to go in. It was really gross looking.”