Alanna Roswarski’s Catholic faith gave her the strength to know everything would work out in the end.
This was supposed to be Roswarski’s spectacular senior season, the one she envisioned where she led Central Catholic to a state championship.
However, her recurring shin splints were so painful she missed the final two weeks of volleyball season and struggled into the start of basketball.
She recovered, but had to have her appendix removed early in the season. She then suffered a concussion late in the regular season and missed her senior night game against Lafayette Jeff.
“I always envisioned senior year to be the leader on and off the court for both sports, and it was hard not being able to play,” said Roswarski, who will play college basketball at Ave Maria University in Florida. “My legs did heal, and I have been doing a lot better and have been going to rehab all through basketball season.”
As painful as the injuries were, the hurt of losing in the girls basketball regional for a fourth consecutive season would surpass all of them.
Roswarski enters today’s Class A Tri-Central Regional needing 11 points to join Ann Hensley as the only Knights girls basketball players to score 1,000 in her career.
Statistical triumphs aside, Roswarski is happy just to be on the court.
In November, she suffered complications during practice and believed her illness was due to being out of shape. As a precautionary measure, she scheduled a doctor’s appointment and was informed that her appendix was inflamed and the hours were rapidly dwindling before it would eventually burst.
In her absence, the Knights captured a double-digit home victory against Harrison, a contest that highlighted a 10-game winning streak.
“It’s been hard with the surgeries and concussion, but I know no matter what happens to me or any of my teammates, everyone will step up,” Roswarski said. “I know they will get the job done with me or without me. That’s what is great about our team is that we are going to play for that person.”
Even with Roswarski sidelined, there was never any question who was the team’s leader.
“The girls really look up to her,” first-year CC coach Craig DeVault said. “Even when she was out, she would sit here in practice and pretty much be a coach on the sideline.”
She remained one of the players freshman point guard Cameron Onken went to for guidance.
Onken leads the team in scoring. In the games Roswarski missed, Onken helped fill the scoring gap, along with reserves Angela Tharp and Alanna’s sister, Sarah.
“She has been doing this for four years and has (experience) under her belt. I felt like I could look up to her and Emily Denhart,” Onken said. “We want to really make it great for Alanna and (seniors) Camille (Ulery) and Michaela (Davis). We want them to go out with a bang.”
That’s become Roswarski’s realization.
Four years went by fast. She had setbacks along the way, but she always knew she’d get to put on a CC jersey again. Roswarski’s next loss will be the last of her high school career, but she’s hoping it doesn’t come to that.
“I have complete faith in my teammates and coaches that we will do whatever it takes to make the last game I play at CC a victory,” she said.