KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL)- In our new digital series ‘High School Standouts,’ Digital Sports Reporter Michael Epps features local athletes with incredible talent, hoping to take that talent to the next level.
These are athletes that stand out both on and off the field.
This week’s High School Standout is Nicole Troutman, senior on the girls basketball and softball teams at Sullivan South High School.
Athletes all over the world are out of commission right now. Facing adversity in a way.
But for Sullivan South’s Nicole Troutman, this is nothing new.
“Nicole, the last month had really come into her own in I would say her potential,” Sullivan South girls basketball head coach Terry Hutson said.
Troutman was developing into the leading scorer on the girls basketball team.
“We were real excited for tournament time and to make a run at that tournament but yeah up to that we were really having a good time,” Troutman said.
But in the last week of the regular season, that quickly changed.
A torn ACL, and just like that her season was over.
“I have to have surgery in order because it’s completely blown so I will have surgery after I graduate high school,” Troutman said.
But she still had her upcoming softball season to worry about.
“It was really upsetting it was hard to watch everyone out there getting to play and I had to sit there,” Troutman said.
So she had a choice to make: have surgery on the knee, or delay the surgery and rehab so that she could play in part of the softball season.
“Yeah that was the main reason I could have just had surgery and been done with it but going through all that and trying to get prepared and stronger and ready,” Troutman said.
“Pretty much let the parents and Nicole decide if that’s something they wanted to do I supported them either way I just mainly want the kids to be safe don’t want them to do something that would cause life long problems or injuries like that,” Sullivan South softball head coach Chris Sturgil said.
She decided to rehab; she wanted to put that uniform on again.
“I was really looking forward to being with my teammates, they’re some of my best friends and I’ve known them ever since I was in 5th grade just playing softball,” Troutman said.
They made a rehab plan, thinking it would take about a month before she could play again.
“I think we were gonna meet that we were pretty on target until this whole thing happened,” Troutman said.
Yeah, this whole thing called the COVID-19 pandemic, delaying all spring sports.
“Yeah it was really upsetting we couldn’t have expected this to happen basically all we can do now is continue therapy and hoping for the best hoping April maybe we can come back and play I’m still hoping for it,” Troutman said.
Even if the spring seasons end up canceled, the fact that Troutman even tried to make the comeback, it says a lot.
“That I never really want to give up and I want to try the hardest I can to be the best I can no matter what it takes and if I fail doing it at least I tried hard and tried to get back at it,” Troutman said.
Follow this series throughout the year as WJHL’s Michael Epps finds the High School Standout every week on WJHL.com.