Foot injury ends Shoemaker’s sophomore season
Bryce Shoemaker will have to wait another year for his chance to become Baldwin High School’s first wrestler to win two state championships.
The BHS sophomore injured his foot Feb. 15, just three days before the Class 4A regional tournament. While running barefoot at the end of practice, Shoemaker slipped. Four of his toes curled under his foot, which opened a large gash between his fourth and fifth toes. Shoemaker needed 14 stitches to heal the wound.
“I tripped on the wet mat,” Shoemaker said. “It was a freak accident.”
Shoemaker visited his doctor last Thursday, hoping to get cleared to compete at the regional tournament. However, he received season-ending news.
“It was still pretty inflamed and looked pretty bad,” Shoemaker said. “He said it’s probably not a good idea to wrestle, because there is a high possibility to tear worse and infection.
“It would have been tough to get it all taped up and still be able to get my shoe on. Plus you never know if it could have torn more with my shoe on. It would have been a mess. I still would have done it if the doctor would have cleared me to compete.”
Shoemaker had a feeling the doctor’s news would be bad.
“It was really tough,” Shoemaker said. “My dad and I kind of went in there knowing, because at the ER they said, ‘there is probably a good change you aren’t going to wrestle.’ We kind of went in there knowing it was going to be a bad deal.”
BHS coach Kit Harris felt bad for his star wrestler.
“It’s just one of those things,” Harris said. “All you can do is move forward and rally around him. It was definitely heartbreaking, especially for him.”
Shoemaker finished the season with a 33-6 record. He was ranked third in the state in the 119-pound weight class. He would have been the top seed in the 119 bracket at regionals. As a freshman, Shoemaker won the 103 state championship.
“He had a chance to be a four-time state placer or state champion,” Harris said. “He’s had a lot of success, and he’ll have a lot more. He will be back.”