The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

One Day At a Time


POP! Ella Bulava heard a pop during a scrimmage for her club team The Riverhounds. She was guarding a player and cut for the ball and heard a pop in her left foot.  Ella didn’t think it was a serious injury at first. “I didn’t think it was that bad because I didn’t know what a foot injury was.” At first, she was prescribed a boot, however, 6 weeks later her injury to her foot did not heal in the boot. 6 weeks turned into 3 months, so in March of 2023, she had surgery and a screw was placed in her foot. Because it was her first-ever surgery, she said, “I was scared because I didn’t know what to expect.”

The recovery from this injury was lengthy, her recovery time was going to take at least 3 months. During these 3 months she had to endure the hardships that came along with the recovery. The soccer player said, “I was kind of hopeless, I was jealous of everyone else because they were on the field and I wasn’t.” 

During Ella’s recovery, Ava Lorenzi, one of Ella’s friends and teammates said, “We would go over to her house and sit with her after her surgery, when she was finally able to walk we took her out of the house to get her mind off her injury.” She really relied on her close friends and family during that time to get her through her recovery.

Ella had healed from her foot injury and started playing soccer with the Riverhounds again in June. During Ella’s second game back she injured her right knee 10 minutes into the game. The soccer commit said, “I went to go kick the ball but someone shoved me and I planted my right leg and then it just gave out, but I didn’t feel any pain so I got up and started running down the field, but my knee gave out again.” On the sideline, the trainers examined her leg, but it kept giving out. The trainers thought Ella had an MCL tear, but the day after she went to the doctor for an MRI, and it turned out to be an ACL tear.

She blamed herself for the injury and felt hopeless not being able to play her senior year with her friends that she has been on the field with since day one. Her team is her family, and she wanted to be with them one last time. She knew she could never get that experience back. She said, “During this time I was upset and asked myself why me.” She was confused at first, she did not understand why this was happening to her when she had done everything right.

In June of her junior year, she committed to the University of Maryland. During Ella’s recovery from her ACL tear, she went to a Maryland soccer game. Ella was not worried about playing at Maryland after her injuries because her coach, Meg Nemze, tore her ACL back to back. She is very understanding about Ella’s injuries. The Maryland commit said, “My coach has comforted me by talking to me over the phone and asking about how I am doing. She also has given me tips on my feelings and what I should do with them.” She learned to overcome her injury and started to have hope again. The player said, “This showed me what I am playing for and what I need to get back for. I still have a bright future there.”

On senior night Ella got the chance to make the ceremonial kick. She felt sad because she knew she would never be on Rossi Field as a player again. Even though she could not be on the field with her teammates she could still encourage them and cheer them on. Ella said, “I talked to my teammates while they were on the sidelines and motivated them.” She also said she was able to give them tips from personal experiences. The Senior then continued to say, “They need to fight for everything during playoffs because I would do anything to be out there playing with them on the field, so they need to fight for me.” The team tried to fight for Ella but sadly did not make it past the second round of playoffs. 

Her coaches, and athletic trainers know how hard Ella has been working. Zac Heide, the athletic director, emailed her to let her know Cam Heyward’s communications staff asked her and other injured players in the Pittsburgh area to watch their practice and have lunch with other Steeler players. She met Heyward with 3 other boys, making her the only girl that his staff emailed. He is injured for his season and was encouraging the injured student athletes that it will get better.  Heyward said, “It is tough in the moment, but when you look to the future, you have so much to play for and it is all worth it in the end.” 

She is still going to Physical Therapy twice a week. Ella said, “It is tough but when I reach my goals it makes me feel better and motivates me.” Ella connected with her teammate Ava Yurko during her ACL tear because Ava had the same injury. She said, “ Talking with Ava, I realized I’m not alone and that other people are also going through the same thing I am.”  

Ella never fails to exceed expectations on and off the field. Even after she broke her foot her junior year, and had a season-ending ACL tear her senior year, she got her spirit back. She fought hard and long and shed many tears, but Ella never lost herself in her injuries.


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About the Contributors
Mia Klasnic
Mia Klasnic, Staff Writer
Mia Klasnic is a junior at Greater Latrobe. She loves journalism and photography. She is very excited to be a part of the High Post staff.  She has been in broadcasting since her freshman year and has filmed many sports interviews and sporting events. She is very excited to improve her writing skills by being on the High Post staff. This is her First year being a part of staff. She is also on the track team, she loves being a part of the team and creating bonds with her coaches. In her free time she dances and loves spending time with friends and family. She took this class to get out of her shell and to be involved in the community. She has always loved photography and writing, now she has a meaning behind what she writes. She is excited to see what is in store in her future. She can't wait to be apart of this amazing staff and hopefully she builds friendships along the way. 
Abbie Kunkelmann
Abbie Kunkelmann, Staff Writer
Abbie Kunkelmann is a junior at Greater Latrobe Senior High School. She is involved in Student Council, High Post, link crew, golf, Mu Alpha Theta, and lacrosse. This is Abbie’s first year on the High Post staff. She is excited to take pictures and write about things happening in the community and school. She is excited to improve her writing skills through taking Multimedia journalism. Abbie is planning on going to college and becoming a PA or PT in the medical field. She is excited to use her broadcasting background to help her write stories and take photos. Abbie’s interest in photography is what sparked her to join the High Post staff. Abbie has learned that it’s important to have a storytelling picture in your story for the visual appearance for the readers. She is looking forward to seeing what stories she will write throughout the school year. 

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