Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

January 16, 2013

She's back and even better than before

Troup’s Standley celebrates return to softball diamond by hitting 5 HRs in 5 games

Jay Neal
Jacksonville Daily Progress

BEEVILLE —  Whenever an athlete, regardless of the sport, incurs a serious injury there is always concern and sometimes trepidation as to whether that athlete will be able to return at 100-percent.

Troup High School softball standout and Stephen F. Austin signee, Katelyn Standley, suffered a major knee injury during one of her team's state playoff games on May 24, 2012.

The injury, which required surgery to repair and a lengthy-subsequent rehabilitation period, no doubt had folks wondering would Standley would be able to return to the diamond and perform at the same level that she did before her misfortune.

Standley answered those questions over the weekend.

Playing in a pre-high school season warm-up tournament in Longview, Standley blasted five home runs (three over the fence and two inside the park) while playing third base for three games and catching the other two.

So, it seems safe to say that Standley is back and is better than ever, physically.

Although Standley jacked the very first pitch that she saw in her first game back against Harleton over the right field wall, it was actually the two inside the park jobs that Standley's dad, Jeff Standley, was most taken back by.

“For her to be able to get around the bases, running left with a bulky left-knee brace on, told me that she had learned how to use her legs and that the strength was there for her to be able to perform at a high level,” he said. “We were excited that Katelyn was able to go out and do the things that she did so soon.

“My daughters overall health was always more important than her being able to come back and play softball. We followed the doctor's instructions and kept her out for six months. We didn't want her to be in a position later in life where she favored the leg or had discomforted because we rushed things just for the sake of being able to get back to softball.”

Miss Standley resumed her softball-specific activities on Nov. 24, 2012 after participating in a rigorous rehab program that Mr. Standley supervised and modeled after the one Minnesota Viking's Adrian Peterson used.

“We researched what workouts Adrian Peterson did in rehabbing his knee,” Jeff Standley said. “Katelyn did many of the same activities such as the box drills and running in circles that seemed to work so well for Adrian.”

The successful surgery followed by the proper amount of down time to heal and the intense rehab work seemed to have worked well for Katelyn Standley, and in much the same way Peterson returned to the NFL this season stronger and faster than he was in his pre-injury days, Standley appears to have returned to softball in a similar state.

“We are real pleased,” Jeff Standley said. “After five games she (Katelyn Standley) came out strong and she didn't have any problems, nothing but the usual soreness associated with getting back used to catching.”

And while some athletes have been known to struggle psychologically following a serious injury, such is not the case with Katelyn Standley.

“Towards the end of the games and after she hit one of her last home runs she called me and said,”dad, I'm a beast.”” Jeff Standley said.

True words spoken by an athlete that has total confidence in her physical abilities.

Welcome back to softball, Katelyn!