Hoon of Chemics makes a triumphant return

Almost exactly a year ago, Emersen Hoon of Midland High feared he might never play softball again. These days, when she steps onto the court for the Chemics, it’s with a heart full of gratitude.

Hoon, a senior second baseman, suffered a catastrophic broken leg last spring when she collided with an opposing player while running for first base. Now fully recovered, she is back on the field for what she hopes will be her first full season of Midland softball since her debut campaign.

“I have a lot of goals for me this season. It’s only the second full season I’ve played, so I’m trying to come back and prove myself,” Hoon said. a different vision of things, a better attitude on everything in general. I have a completely different point of view during my at-bats.

After fracturing both his tibia and fibula (his two lower leg bones) in the crash on April 22, 2021, Hoon underwent surgery the same night and had a rod and four screws inserted into him. leg. Amazingly, she was out of crutches and was cleared to play travel ball for the Midland Lady Explorers last August.

She remembers with a big smile when she first stepped onto the pitch last summer.

“It was really good to go out there. … It was nerve wracking. I really thought I would be super nervous, but then my instincts kicked in and once the game started I kinda forgot,” she noted.

“…There were still things that made me nervous. Like the first time I ran to first base, I was scared,” she added. “…But it was kind of natural to come back there. It was awesome.”

Hoon admitted she’s always wary of running to first base, but she tries not to let it affect her aggression too much.

“When I’m running to first now, instead of looking forward, I’m looking where I’m stepping and making sure (I’m not going to collide with anybody). I’m still a little bit worried, but I’m just more careful,” she said. “It doesn’t really slow me down, but I just pay more attention to what I’m doing.”

Chemics coach Matt Starling said he was delighted to have Hoon back on the court and in the dugout, noting that “she’s a big spark plug for us.”

“It really is an amazing story. She deserves all the credit in the world for her comeback. There was no guarantee (that she would be able to perform again),” Starling said. “…She’s big for us on the infield, for sure, and in the dugout. She has just embraced her senior season. It’s fun to find her. It’s fun to have her personality, her energy and everything she does for the team.

“…She brings a lot of positive energy and is a fun kid to coach,” he added.

When asked what he missed most about playing softball during his recovery, Hoon immediately replied, “Everything. Just the atmosphere, my teammates and just the game – being able to play and have fun. Sport is everything to me. »

Hoon added that while she’s still very competitive, she enjoys just being on the court no matter how well she performs.

“I have such a positive outlook on things now. Before, I took things so much for granted,” she admitted. have a better attitude, because I know that at least I can play.

“I try to teach the girls that (the appreciation of the little things), but it’s hard. I think you have to learn it for yourself – just enjoy everything and have a better attitude and not take everything for granted,” she added. “Every game you can play is a blessing, honestly. I love playing with the team and it’s great to be back for my last year.

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