Soccer Starter Darlene Black Back Better than before

Lisa Bonne

Eleanor Black, Staff Reporter

Pass, shoot—goal! The team huddles on the field, celebrating their season win. Unfortunately for Darlene Black, a senior starter for the Varsity soccer team, she was forced to watch from the bench. Last year, Darlene was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease known to negatively affect muscle movement. Her condition caused her to sit out the season. “Sitting out last year was hard for me,” Darlene said. “I didn’t like not being able to play”. Darlene was conflicted; frustrated with being away from the game and yet understanding why.

At the beginning of last year’s season, Darlene had surgery to help her condition, accompanied by medications. It was a success! Darlene was able to get back on the field and gain a Varsity starting position. Coming back from her hiatus, Darlene feels empowered and elevated. “I was very happy to play the sport I love again and contribute to my team,” she said. In addition to starting, Darlene was also named a captain. After long days of summer training and pushing herself to the limits, Darlene feels her hard work has paid off.

However, despite working through these obstacles, Darlene’s condition still lingers in the shadows of her mind. Darlene knows she must rise above her condition and is constantly shaken with anxiety when stepping onto the field. But once the whistle blows and the timer starts, Darlene pushes her worries to the side. Playing as a defender, Darlene has helped the Varsity soccer team to a 9-2 league record and 10-3 overall.

Darlene is determined to stay optimistic about her condition, looking at the brighter side. “I am lucky that I wasn’t diagnosed with something that could prevent me from playing soccer my entire life,” Darlene said. While others may have given up, Darlene continued to push through and work around her condition. Darlene stands as a role model and inspiration for her teammates and those to come, displaying how one can rise above tough times.

Her disease causes her to remain strong-minded, motivating her to push and work harder in her daily life. After graduating high school, Darlene plans to go into a four-year college in a biology field, then a two-year genetic counseling program. Knowing how she beat the odds; Darlene is ready to conquer the world.