This was supposed to be a family-oriented last hurrah for William Chrisman High School senior and three-sport standout Jennifer David.
She was going to wrap up a rock-solid Bears career by joining her sister Jacque – a junior who entered this season as the No. 1-ranked girl in the state in the shot and discus – for a memorable track and field finale.
Then, it happened.
No, not the COVID-19 pandemic, which robbed all prep athletes in the country of the chance to compete in spring sports.
While that would have eventually ruined any chance the David sisters would have had of one last chance to be teammates, it was all taken away in early December when Jacque tore her ACL and meniscus in her knee while playing basketball against conference rival North Kansas City.
“I think that night hurt me more than what we are going through now – personally, I mean, because I love my sister so much,” said Jennifer, a first-team selection on The Examiner’s 2019-20 All-Area girls basketball team.
Jennifer had to stop for a moment, regain her composure, wipe away some tears, and continue talking about her sister Jacque.
“It hurt me, it hurt my soul, the pain I experienced was not like the pain Jacque was experiencing – the physical pain – but I knew she was hurt and I knew she might not come back to play basketball,” Jennifer said.
“She had hurt her knee a couple of other times, but this time, it looked bad.”
A few days after a Northtown defender hit Jacque in the knee while she drove to the basket, the junior standout received the bad news.
“I was told I tore my ACL and meniscus and that I would need surgery,” said Jacque, a basketball and volleyball standout who was fourth at state in the discus and sixth in the shot as a freshman and 11th in the discus and fourth in the shot as a sophomore.
“I had surgery Feb. 21 and that was it for my junior season. Honestly, I think it hurt Jennifer more than it did me. We have never really talked about it – we don’t need to. We have that sixth sense that sisters have and all we have to do is look at each other and we know what the other sister is feeling. And I felt so much pain coming from my sister, and that hurt, because we had big plans this spring.”
And now, the prospect of any spring sports success has been sidelined by the COVID-19 quarantine.
“It doesn’t make it any easier for me knowing that I did not miss my junior season because of the quarantine,” Jacque said. “I think I feel worse because Jennifer cannot compete one more time and we could have shared another season with (our sophomore) sister Jaleena, who has done well in the discus.”
So the David sisters are enjoying their time at home, as Jennifer begins to make a final decision on where she will attend college.
“I have quite a few offers, I just want to make sure I pick the right one,” Jennifer said. “Coach (Tyler) Rathke (the boys and girls track and field head coach at Chrisman) has been calling some colleges, so I have some offers in track and field. I was basically looking at basketball, but now I’m open to the best offer from a college that has what I am looking for academically.”
In the meantime, she, Jacque and Jaleena are going to make sure they enjoy each other’s company during this hiatus.
“We love each other so much,” Jennifer said. “We are so thankful that we are all together. I just wish we were all together out on the track one last time.”