Just over a year ago, Alexa Stockrahm was on the field, healthy and happy and scoring goals as a midfielder for Lincoln-Way Central.
Since then, Stockrahm has endured a long line of medical challenges that have sidelined her this spring for her senior season.
Through it all, though, Stockrahm is still a part of the team. She’s on the Knights’ bench as often as she can be, encouraging her teammates and sharing her knowledge of the game.
“They support me, so I want to support them as much as I can,” Stockrahm said. “I want to be there to cheer them on. I want to be their biggest cheerleader.”
Last April, the day after playing a game for Lincoln-Way Central, Stockrahm felt sharp pain in her stomach. She went to an urgent care facility, where doctors were alarmed.
“‘They said, ‘You need to go to the hospital right now — you’re not getting oxygen to your brain,’” Stockrahm said.
Stockrahm was eventually released from the hospital but had to be rushed back days later.
Her mother, Angela, said Alexa was dealing with organ failure and had to be placed in a medically induced coma for three days.
“Then it was a like a miracle,” Angela said. “She woke up, the sun was on her face, she had coloring and she was just our daughter again.”
Alexa’s organs began to recover, but a lengthy hospital stay followed. She has had regular outpatient care since, with Angela confirming doctors are still not quite sure what caused the issues.
Angela remembers how soccer helped Alexa on her toughest days, however, as Alexa stayed up to date on last season’s team that finished third in the state in Class 3A.
“She’d be on morphine and out of it, but she’d ask us to read the messages from the team,” Angela Stockrahm said. “We truly think that’s what got her through this.”
Although Alexa has not been cleared to return to the field ― and may not be able to play soccer again — Lincoln-Way Central coach Sean Fahey said her impact is felt every day.
“She’s with the team any time she can be,” Fahey said. “She is always positive, and I think it puts things in perspective for our other girls.
“If they’re having a tough day in practice or don’t want to put in the work, here’s a girl who would do anything to be out there playing.”
For Alexa Stockrahm, soccer also is a great distraction, and being a part of the Knights has brought her a tremendous amount of joy.
“I have my teammates and my coaches behind me,” she said. “It’s just a fun environment. It really helps me to look at the positives. My team is always there for me and my family is always there for me.
“It means a lot to know that they care about me even if I’m not on the field with them. They are always there for me. Whether I’m playing with them or not, they still make me feel included.”
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Rising RedHawks: Marist is hoping a big run in the BodyArmor Series will jump-start its season.
The RedHawks beat Niles North 1-0 in Saturday’s first round behind a goal from Alexis Shackelford and knocked off Lake Park, winning Sunday’s shootout 3-0 for a 2-1 victory.
Marist (3-6) is set to take on Highland Park at 9:50 a.m. Sunday in its bracket championship game at Lyons Soccer Complex.
“We’re looking to make a little bit of a run here,” Marist coach Chris Roe said. “We’re doing everything better. The effort is there.”
Dishing them out: T.F. United senior Alanis Gonzalez has been the area’s top table-setter. Gonzalez is up to a whopping 20 assists to go with seven goals for the Meteors (7-4).
Steve Millar is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.