Monday, December 14, 2009

No Looking Back: Ricky Kreklow

While on the road to Troy Buchanan High School in Troy, Mo., Rock Bridge senior Ricky Kreklow settles in for the hour and a half long bus ride by finding a song on his iPhone. “Nobody around Columbia wants to play a school our size.” Rock Bridge’s schedule involves numerous road games against Kansas City and St. Louis opponents. Being on the road has become something of a metaphor for Kreklow in his final year at Rock Bridge. Both recovery from numerous injuries sustained in his junior year and having verbally committed to play at the University of Missouri next year have Kreklow looking at what lies ahead.

During a physical therapy session, Physical Therapist Cynthia Komes works over Kreklow’s leg joints. Towards the end of the 2008-2009 season Kreklow suffered from a number of injuries included a stress fracture in his right ankle and a ruptured disk in his back, which led to surgery in August. Not to be put down by the injuries, Kreklow made a steady recovery and was able to start his final season at Rock Bridge without trouble. “You almost don’t need me anymore, Ricky,” Komes commented during the therapy session.

Kreklow listens as Rock Bridge head coach Jim Scanlon instructs the team on things the need to remember when they play defense in an upcoming game.

Before setting off for a road game in Troy, Mo Kreklow spends some time playing video games with childhood friends and teammates Trey Millard (left), and Justin Miller (right) at Kreklow’s home in Columbia, Mo.

Kreklow prepares for a game against McCleur North on Dec. 11, 2009 in the Troy Buchanan High School locker room during the Troy People’s Bank Tournament. “I always get nervous I’m going to forget something,” Kreklow said. “I have to check and make sure I have everything three or four times.”

Kreklow attempts to drive to the basket early in the second half of the Troy People’s Bank Tournament championship game against McCleur North. Rock Bridge would lose 67-78. Following the game Rock Bridge head coach Jim Scanlon said, “Ricky looked like the only one out there that wanted it all.”

While Kreklow’s teammates wait in silence for head coach Scanlon to enter the locker room following the team’s loss to McCleur North, Kreklow examines a bleeding rash on his hip from diving after a loose ball. “Its not like you can play the game over,” Kreklow said. “You just have to move on to the next game.”

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