By RJ Townsend
GO! ~POP! SET! ~POP! HUT!
What was that?
The worst runs through his head. What happened? Why does that hurt? How much time is left in this game? This cannot be happening. Not now.
Brody Adams, a 15-year-old freshman football player, starting varsity on the offensive line. What could go wrong? Right?
At first it was just the pressure of the game, but now that pressure is lying on his own shoulder, literally. It’s the end of the season. He’s been fine till now, but he can’t help but listen to his body telling him it was hurt. He decides to keep to himself, thinking just a sore shoulder, not a big deal.
The last game goes by slower than he hoped, causing him more agony. Days turn into weeks, and he’s not getting better. He’s been sleeping awfully, tossing and turning throughout the night, hoping to get rest. He finally breaks it to his parents. Something is wrong, and he can’t stand it anymore.
As he arrives at the doctors, his mind is positive. He’s going to play next season. He’s never missed a season since third grade, and he doesn’t want to start now.
He’s told that the labrum in his shoulder is torn.
“It was torn completely on the front side and a quarter of the way in the back,” Adams said. “If I would’ve played another game my shoulder would’ve been completely gone.”
A labrum tear is an injury to the ring of cartilage in the shoulder joint.
“(The doctor) said either get the surgery or never play a sport again,” Adams said.
It was an easy choice for him. His entire life has led him to this moment. He’s going to get the surgery.
He’s in a sling. Missing school, skipping his finals for the first semester, and having to make up all that he’s missed while absent. Nothing has ever been this stressful in his life.
He’s getting better, checking in daily with athletic trainer Jen Detweiler about how he’s feeling. She’s happy he caught the injury quickly. He gives her the credit for that.
“Jen really, she was there for me. Helped me through the process,” Adams said. “She played a big part in it.”
End of the sling era in January. He has his arm back and is starting to gain more hope for his sophomore season. Staying in classes longer, he’s getting his academic life together.
Brody’s recovery time was five months, which is the average time for that surgery.
He was surrounded by his favorite people during the healing process.
Matthew Morey, one of Brody’s best friends, says that the surgery and physical therapy took a toll on their social life. He kept in touch with him for every step of Brody’s recovery, always lending good advice or keeping him up on what he missed.
“We couldn’t hang as much as we used to.” Morey said. “He’s my best friend and has been since sixth grade.”
His team was backing him every step of the way, and his coaches were helping him through the valley. Head Coach Chris Overholt, in fact, had the same injury and surgery two years earlier.
“It’s not like a snap of the fingers, and you have it. It goes in phases to get better and back on track,” Overholt said.
He knew what Brody was going through the best.
“It’s such a mental battle. When you get injured, you feel like a ghost,” Overholt said.
Now Brody is starting on the offensive line again, though in a new position and with a shoulder brace. He’s starting as an offensive tackle and also plays some defensive tackle but no longer plays fullback that he did a year ago. He’s happy.
The last year has been the best and the worst. His friends, family, coaches, and teachers are all making sure he’s staying at his best.
He’s extremely excited for this season.