Sunday, March 26, 2000

NORTHERN KY. INSIDER


Schwegmann vows return from ACL injury

BY NEIL SCHMIDT
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        It's hard to keep a good woman down. In Katie Schwegmann's case, a torn ACL and broken nose nearly didn't.

        Bishop Brossart's junior basketball star, a two-time first team all-state pick, saw her season end in horrifying fashion March 9 with that double-whammy in a 10th Region tournament loss to Estill County. The recollection gets fuzzy about the time she leaped off the training room table.

        “I was saying I had to go back in,” Schwegmann said.

        She had a concussion and soon after went into shock. So much for the storybook run to the state tournament.

        Schwegmann, the early favorite for next season's Miss Basketball, now faces a long road back. She has had two operations in the past nine days and has another one coming.

        The chance to help Brossart's track team vie for a fourth consecutive Class A state championship is gone. So is a summer of AAU play, which might have been helpful toward securing a big-time scholarship.

        “I've been pretty much down in the dumps,” she said. “But I have to keep thinking, if it's going to happen I'm glad it was at the end of the season. I have all summer to get back.”

        Her sister, Jill, wasn't so lucky. The 1996 Brossart grad tore an ACL the second game of her senior season, ending her career.

        “Because of her, I know what I'm in for,” Katie said. “I can tackle it. She's my inspiration to get through this.”

        Schwegmann has also leaned on Jaime Walz for advice. The former Miss Basketball from Highlands, who completed her college career at Western Kentucky last week, frequently communicates with Schwegmann by e-mail.

        Walz rebounded from ACL reconstructive surgery a year ago to post a stellar senior season, earning first-team All-Sun Belt Conference honors with a 15.6 scoring average.

        Schwegmann, a two-time MVP of the All “A” Classic state tournament, averaged 22.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.6 steals and 4.1 assists this season.

        She did so despite torn cartilage in her right knee, on which she was putting off arthroscopic surgery until after the season. That has now been pushed back another three months, since she had ACL reconstruction Wednesday on the left knee.

        Schwegmann had nasal surgery nine days ago, a repeat of a procedure she had last summer to help correct a deviated septum. She's now two-thirds of the way through her surgeries.

        Meanwhile, college recruiters shower her with support. Schwegmann said she has gotten mail this season from “10 to 15 schools a day,” most of them Division I, and all the correspondence recently has been of the get-well variety.”

        SKATERS EXCEL: Mary Siegel, an 11-year-old Cincinnatian who trains with the Northern Kentucky Skating Club, won the juvenile ladies title at the Junior National Figure Skating Championships in Amherst, N.Y.

        Samantha Skavdahl, a 12-year-old from Villa Hills, took home two medals: bronze in juvenile ladies singles, and silver in intermediate pairs with partner Jordan Brauninger, 13, of Crescent Springs.

        Ben Woolwine, 16, of Fort Wright, placed second in intermediate men's singles.

        PURDON, FARRELL HONORED: The Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches recognizes a player and coach of the year in each of the state's 16 regions. Cov ington Catholic senior guard Steve Purdon and Notre Dame senior guard Emily Farrell were named Players of the Year in the Ninth Region.

        The Ninth Region boys coach is Newport Central Catholic's Ron Dawn, and the girls coach is Notre Dame's Cheryl Darpel. Those four were presented awards at their state tournaments.

        BACIGALUPO PICKS TMC: Tony Bacigalupo a NewCath boys basketball player, will attend Thomas More College.

        Neil Schmidt can be reached at (606) 578-5582 or nschmidt@enquirer.com.

       



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