No bones about it, everything is going tibia alright


It was a cool, breezy autumn afternoon in Great Falls. It’s the first day of the Montana AA State Tournament, and the CMR girls soccer team is facing off against the Glacier Wolfpack, but nobody has put any goals on the board. Junior Briana Brown has control of the ball, but she falls down after a slide tackle. She springs up quickly, and the ball is passed to her. She is slide tackled once again, but this time she isn’t so quick to spring up. She tries to stand, but then she falls down and grabs her leg. She doesn’t scream, but everyone knows it’s serious. Junior Eme McLaughlin kneels down to grab her hand and tell her it will be alright.
Coach Rob Zimmerman and trainer Teayre Klosterman rush onto the field to help Brown. Klosterman immediately starts diagnosing the problem. After a moment, Zimmerman takes off sprinting to go find Brown’s parents. Shortly after, he returns with her family. Ten minutes later, a vehicle comes onto the field to take Brown away.
The match resumes, and after a scoreless regulation and two overtimes, the Lady Rustlers finally win in a dramatic shootout. After the team celebrates, Klosterman tells the team than Brown fractured both her tibia and fibula and will go into surgery later that night. In shock, the entire team immediately becomes more concerned with their fallen teammate than celebrating their victory or even the next day’s matchup against Billings West.
“Right when it hit, I knew it was broke. I could feel it jiggling around,” Brown said. “I didn’t feel a thing at first, but then it felt like I couldn’t catch my breath and my stomach was full of empty space.”
Brown previously has had stress fractures in her tibia and fibula, causing the bones to break much easier than they normally would.
“Immediately I just thought ‘I’m so sorry’ because I couldn’t play basketball this year or be able to finish the state tournament,” she said.
Although the injury ended her soccer season and will prevent her from playing basketball this season or club soccer this spring, Brown is optimistic about her future health.
“It will be about six months before I can do any physical activity. The other day I started walking on it and it was still really sore. It should be stronger because there will be a metal rod in there forever,” she said. “There’s also screws in it, but they will take them out if they bother me too much.”
Despite the injury, Brown was able to attend the Saturday championship game, where she celebrated the state title with the rest of her team.
“I wasn’t going to miss that game for anything. I would have ecaped the hospital in a wheelchair to see my girls play if I had to. [I’m] very proud of my sisters on the field, I just wish I could have been out there helping.”