Perseverance pays off
Senior quarterback Merrick Woods came back from a devastating leg injury to being better than ever for the SMB Wolfpack. Woods played varsity football as a freshman.In the fall of 2020, things changed when Woods broke his tibula and fibula in his first varsity game.
Woods had a lot of recovery ahead of him but it surprisingly didn’t take very long.
“The recovery actually was a very short process because I was young, and the bone healed faster than the doctors expected,” Woods said. “I was able to play basketball that season. So it only took about a month and a half.
” Assistant coach Scott Scholl’s perspective stressed how hard Woods worked to get back on the field.
“He put in a lot of time and effort,” Scholl said. “I know it’s hard. There are two parts to the recovery. There’s the physical part of the recovery where you’re doing physical therapy and getting your muscles back to strength and whatnot. you go out there on the football field after your recovery, even though you’re physically recovered, mentally, you have to get over that and say, okay, you know, it’s not the first time I get hit and not the last. But I think that takes time, as well.
”In spite of the short amount of healing time, recovery was still a grind for Woods.
“The recovery was pretty hard,” he said. “It was pretty easy at the same time, though. You know, going to physical therapy every day, that was hard. And not being on the field, that was hard, too, but when it came to bone healing and just go- ing through the process, just doing PT as itself was pretty easy stuff.”
But there were some setbacks and hesitations that went along with it.
“There were some setbacks in terms of, you know, having the yips,” Woods said. “There were a lot of things that held me back when I got back on the field again. Like I didn’t want to make certain moves or make certain cuts, because I was afraid and it might hurt or things like that.
” Scholl said that Woods shows no effects from that injury.“I know it was a long, hard year of rehabilitation and doing physical therapy and stuff to get back,” he said, “but I don’t think he shows any effects of the injury now. ”
As Woods prepared to return the next season, the expectations and anticipation were huge.
“For my second year? You know, it was tough,” he said. “I had a lot of people dependent on me when it was my season, so I had rehab and stuff like that, but I ended up having a really good sophomore season. And I got looked at by a bunch of colleges. So that was good, to come back from an injury, a minor setback for a major comeback, and being able to show off that season was good.”