|He's back! Soccer player makes fast recovery
RELEASED: Sept. 2, 2004
DANVILLE, KYThe knee injury that took junior Kent Starkweather out of the men's soccer team lineup last season could have landed him on the bench even longer if it weren't for his persistent motivation to get back on the field.
The center mid-fielder for the Colonels injured the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his left knee 20 minutes into the team's fourth contest last year.
"I knew it was going to take me some time to recover through surgery and rehab," says Starkweather of Cookeville, Tenn. "I knew I had to be patient."
Starkweather had surgery to repair the damage to his knee on Oct. 3 and just four months and a lot of hard work later, he was back training with the team.
"Kent pushed himself and was very diligent during rehab," says Lesley Barsotti, Centre associate athletic trainer. "Some kids get discouraged with injuries and lose motivation because they're not getting to play, but Kent never did."
Kent says his motivation through rehabilitation was simply to get back on the field and among his teammates again.
"Playing college soccer is something special that not everyone gets to do," he says. "The coaches are very encouraging and dedicated to the program. We feed on that dedication and opportunity to play."
Head Coach Jeb Burch is impressed but not surprised by Starkweather's quick recovery.
"His recovery is amazing and is one that his doctors had trouble believing," Burch says. "But if there's one person built for a challenge, it's Kent. He has a strong faith, and his commitment to soccer, school, friends and life is second to none. His injury serves as an example of how Kent handles challenges in life."
Team captain Cliff Wright, a junior, credits Starkweather's recovery to his passion for life and the game.
"The fact that Kent's recovery has come so fast is no surprise at all," he says. "It's just a testament to his spirit and zeal that he's back in the starting lineup less than a year after one of the worst possible injuries in sports."
Teammate Stan Simek, a junior, agrees. He says Starkweather never stops.
"He never takes a day off from his consistent hard work and dedication," Simek says. "Everyone on the team knows that when you're going up against Kent in practice, you're going to have to go all out or he'll get the best of you."
Starkweather's work ethic isn't limited to the field. The economics major is also a resident assistant and a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. Sarah Scott Hall, director of residence life and counseling, wishes she worked with more students like Starkweather.
"Kent is one of the most dependable students I've ever known in my nine years working in higher education," she says "His positive attitude and strong work ethic make him a wonderful role model for other students."
His friends and teammates are pleased to have him back on the roster.
"It's so great having him back during practices and all of the team activities this year," says junior Pete Millon. "It seemed like there was a huge void last year when he was out."
Starkweather says his injury has taught him patience and helped him mature. He hopes to be a leader on the field and a mentor to his younger teammates this seasonand of course, he'd like to score of few goals.
To catch the men's soccer team in action, visit http://www.centreathletics.comsoccer_m/schedule.html.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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