After Years of Injuries, McCormack is Back

Two ACL tears don’t stop McCormack from playing softball her senior year.


Riley McCormack pitching. Credits to Mrs. Miller.

Grae Stockhausen, Features Section Editor

Freshman year, Riley McCormack joined the softball team and began one of the toughest journeys of her high school years. McCormack has been playing for 13 years as of this year and pitches for CHS. During her freshman year, she suffered something no player wants to experience, an ACL tear. An ACL tear is where the ligament that connects the thigh bone and shin bone to each other partially or fully tears, causing the tibia to slide out in front of the femur. Not only is this excruciatingly painful but results in tenderness, loss of range of motion, and a swelling knee. The pain will continue until surgery is conducted and the ACL is reconstructed, and that is only the beginning. 

Being able to walk on a reconstructed ACL requires months of physical therapy and strength building due to possible atrophy in the leg. After months of training, McCormack got back on the basketball court only to watch her future go down the drain in a split second after hearing the popping sound of her ACL tearing again.

After the first time, McCormack was hopeful to be able to play sports again, but after the second tear, she wasn’t so sure of her future and was beginning to lose hope.

“Yeah, it was definitely hard, the first time around I think I was a lot more motivated to do it because I felt like I could and I wanted to play basketball and then the second time, the future was very unclear if I was ever gonna be able to play a sport again, so I think that kinda like held me back a little because I was like what’s the end goal, what’s the future looking like, and it was a lot more painful too so it made it drag on, I mean I was at physical therapy for 16 months. So it’s been very long, hard, and then just dealing every day with morning pain and I’ve had quite other health problems within the past, so every day is something new.” McCormack said.

Having the mental and physical capability to snap back from two major injuries like that as a sports player is outstanding. 29% of girls quit their sports after a major injury, but McCormack pushed through with help from her physical therapist and family.

“It was definitely hard to feel like all your hard work from your first ACL went down the drain. Literally in a split second, it was definitely hard to overcome the fear of wanting to try again and wanting to play again but ultimately, I’m glad I chose to stick with it because I feel like I would’ve regretted it later on. Honestly, my physical therapist really reassured me that I would be fine and just told me to focus on softball and you know ‘You can’t ever play basketball again but you can get softball if you try’ so it’s like, they made all my therapy softball specific so it’d help me build up my confidence, so then when I was able, or like right now when I’m able to play, it was like ‘okay I’ve been doing this for so long.’” McCormack said.

Now that she has recovered and is able to get back on the mound she will be playing this softball season. Her strength is beyond admirable and her mental and physical capacity is unmatched. Wish her good luck in her senior season when you see her in the halls!