All athletes want to play — it’s what keeps them motivated in practice and what makes them train hard. Their sport becomes a regular part of their life, and it’s an odd adjustment when they can’t play for a period of time. An injury is a restriction that prevents athletes from being able to play the game they love.
After a year of waiting, defender Dylan Thompson was excited to get back onto the field — then he heard a snap.
“It was absolutely heartbreaking,” Thompson said.
Thompson had just redshirted his freshman season at Seattle Pacific in 2011, so he was eager to play a role in the 2012 season. There was an awful, unexpected setback on the first day back at practice, though, as Thompson broke his leg. An audible snap occurred, and everyone was in shock.
“He got in a tackle, and we came over to look, and the bone was hanging from his leg,” junior defender Evan Robicheau said. “It was awful to see in person.”
The recovery process for an injury like that takes a long time, and that’s the hardest part for athletes, as they have to patiently wait while their bodies heal.
“I started walking again after three weeks, but I couldn’t jog or do anything athletic for another four months. I was just trying to get mobility back, but it was tough,” Thompson said.
The season came and went with Thompson working hard, and by the time spring came, he was ready to begin playing.
“Spring was good because I finally got to practice, but I still wasn’t fully recovered. I’m still not fully recovered now, but it’s great being able to practice,” Thompson said.
Despite still not playing at full health, Thompson has still made a few appearances this season, including the Falcons’ (9-1-2, 6-0-3 GNAC) most recent win on Saturday against Montana State Billings (3-7-3, 3-4-2 GNAC). The Falcons won 2-0 after tying Northwest Nazarene (3-4-5, 3-3-3 GNAC) 2-2 on Thursday, in which the Crusaders scored the tying goal with less than a minute remaining in the game.
“It’s hard for someone to go through that and to remain focused on everything, but Dylan has done that,” Robicheau said.
His coach also had high praise for his work ethic.
“His commitment to getting back and being strong again has been remarkable,” head coach Mark Collings said.
Throughout this entire process, Thompson had the support of his teammates helping him every step of the way.
“My teammates have been awesome in helping me. After I went to the hospital, I woke up to over 30 texts from my teammates,” Thompson said.
After all of his hard work, Thompson still isn’t finished yet, as he has a goal in mind.
“I’m looking to get back to 100 percent and to get a starting spot on the team. I’ll play anywhere,” Thompson said.
The Falcons are back at home this week as they look to extend their unbeaten streak past 11 games against the University of Mary (1-9-1, 1-7-1 GNAC) and the South Dakota Mines (0-12-0, 0-9-0 GNAC) on Thursday and Saturday.