Injured sophomore out for half of hockey season

Photo courtesy of T.E. Morris
Sophomore Brady Yakesh skates onto the ice for warm-ups. Due to an injury, Yakesh will be out for at least half the season.

After scoring a spot on varsity as a freshman last year, sophomore Brady Yakesh will be watching his team from the sidelines for the first few months of this hockey season as he suffered a shoulder injury in the off-season.

During a game for his 16U fall league, Yakesh was going in to clear the puck, and as he went in, he checked a player, and sustained his worst hockey injury to date. “When I hit him, it wasn’t anything big, but I felt it as soon as I hit him. I tore my labrum and cartilage came off my shoulder socket,” Yakesh, who has been playing since he was three years old, said.

Many players strive to be recruited one day in hopes of play for a high-end team in college. Yakesh feels that this injury will have an effect on his recruitment options and exposure to other schools. He was hoping to make improvements from last season as well. “I was wanting to exceed my points from last year by a good amount number, and that’s a different outlook from now,” Yakesh said.

When the team heard about Yakesh’s injury, they all had similar emotions. “It was not what anyone on our team wanted to hear,” said senior captain Blake Mesenburg.

Sophomore defenseman Tristan Sarsland was stunned by the news. “I was kind of upset, [Yakesh] was a big part of our team,” Sarsland said.

Junior goalie Carson Limesand could tell how much this injury impacted Yakesh. “I felt bad for him because I know how much hockey means to him,” Limesand said.

The team thinks very highly of Yakesh, describing him as an aggressive player with a physical presence, as well as being level-headed. “[Yakesh] brought a great work ethic to every game, and whenever we need a big defensive play, he was able to make one,” Limesand said.

Teammates consider Yakesh to be one of the better defensemen, as well as being an overall good teammate. “He looks small, but he plays big. He is a tough player and is a strong defenseman. He gets along with all the players on the team,” Mesenburg said.

Not only does this affect Yakesh’s hockey life; it affects other parts of his life as well. “Getting into the car, coming to school. It affects what I do. I’m not as active, and I like to be active,” Yakesh said.

Having it be his right shoulder and because he has a right-handed shot, Yakesh seemingly has a long road to recovery, but the sophomore has stayed positive. When he returns, he will still have high standards for himself. “My goals are to get back into the flow of things, solidify my spot, and be able to play as much as I want to,” Yakesh, who is set to come back on January 1, 2020, said.

The team will most likely try and fill in for him until he returns. “While he is out, we may add a fifth defenseman for the time being. We will have to lean on our returning defenseman more now, ” Mesenburg said.

And as any other team wants, Yakesh and the boys believe they have a chance to move farther than last year. “I think we’re gonna be really good. I think we have a really good shot at State this year. We just need to be together as one team,” Yakesh said.