EAST GRAND FORKS -- Time stood still for both Sacred Heart seniors Evan Sczepanski and Will Rohrich.
Both were finishing their respective winter sports seasons, but both would be on the sidelines.
Sczepanski was wrapping up the basketball season when after one practice, he wanted to get some practice above the rim.
"We were just messing around dunking and then I tried to go with two hands which I had never done before and I fell back," Sczepanski said. "And when I tried to catch myself my left wrist just broke in half."
The result was a metal plate put into his arm. His doctors told him that his upcoming baseball season would be limited, at best, to pitching.
For Rohrich, hope looked even worse. He was wrestling for Grand Forks Central in the first round of the North Dakota state tournament when his opponent shot in.
"In the second period, I tore my (left) knee up," Rohrich said. "I tore my PTFL, partial to my MCL, and some broken cartilage around the knee. It's kind of a mess in there right now."
Rohrich kept going, making it all the way to state final where he lost in sudden death in 170. Afterwards, he was told he needed surgery and doctors said if he continued to play baseball, there was potential for further injury to the knee.
With their seasons on the line, Sczepanski and Rohrich faced the difficult realization that their last baseball seasons could be lost.
Instead, both are key contributors to Sacred Heart's baseball team.
Rohrich postponed his surgery, choosing to wear a brace on the knee. He says he still goes through pain but after deal with wrestling on one leg, he's been able to tolerate it.
Sczepanski had a cast on the wrist at first, slowing his process down. Then one day, he says, everything sped up and his wrist began to cooperate enough to start hitting and fielding.
"I was super happy," Sczepanski said. "It started a day by day approach that nothing's guaranteed tomorrow because one day I woke up and I got hurt."
Sczepanski has collected 10 hits in 11 games while maintaining a 1.79 ERA on the mound. In 19 games, Rohrich has been consistent at the plate, batting .316 with 11 RBIs.
"I just want to be there with the team and contribute and push through it," Rohrich said. "They know I can contribute even though I've got a bad leg."
When they were not able to play right away, they stayed close to the team, doing everything they could to make those around them better.
"Even when they weren't cleared to participate yet, they were at every practice everyday," said Sacred Heart head baseball coach Paul Bethke. "And they weren't just showing up to be there, they would do things to help out, to make their teammates better."
Now both Sczepanski and Rohrich have helped guide Sacred Heart to a second straight Minnesota Class A baseball state appearance. They hope to extend their senior seasons on Thursday against third seed Hayfield.