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Knights lose a senior

Midfielder Vicky Weatherholt broke a leg and dislocated an ankle in a win over Hudson.

By STEVE LEE, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 3, 2002

NEW PORT RICHEY -- Vicky Weatherholt was on a roll before an unfortunate roll of a soccer ball abruptly ended her season.

Not since scoring 36 goals as a freshman for River Ridge's junior varsity team had the senior midfielder started so strongly. Weatherholt had three goals and two assists in the Royal Knights' first two games.

Last Monday, Weatherholt had two goals and an assist in a 5-0 win over Hudson for her final points of the season. With 12 minutes left, she stopped a ball headed for the sideline. Her foot rolled off the ball sending her tumbling backward on her left ankle.

River Ridge coach Keith Hooper and Hudson coach Paul Vescio heard Weatherholt's screams when she broke her fibula and dislocated her ankle.

"It was totally ripped out," Hooper said. "It was pretty nasty."

Added Vescio, "My girls were crushed by it, because they heard (the break). It was a freak accident, because the ball was rolling out of bounds and she just went to trap it.

"That's pretty bad because she was one of their best players."

Coming off an 18-point season (eight goals, two assists as a junior), Weatherholt was being counted on by Hooper to step up and provide scoring balance alongside Sarah Slusak and Christina Smith.

"It hurts big time," Hooper said. "She was a starter. It just shakes up the rhythm of the team."

"I'm really sad, because it's my senior year and my last year to play," Weatherholt said.

As for her hot start, she added, "I figured I was in a shell long enough. It was time to come out. I figured I better give it all I've got. Now my senior year's over."

Weatherholt, who also runs track, had screws inserted in her ankle last week and is unsure if she will be healed in time for track season. She ran the 100 meters, 200 and the 400 relay.

While her soccer days are over, Weatherholt, who came up through the West Pasco Youth Soccer Association and in recent years played for club teams in Dunedin and Countryside, vowed not to miss a River Ridge game. She was on the sideline Wednesday in a loss to Land O'Lakes.

"I'm still on the team," Weatherholt said.

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