By Dave Wagner
Megan Kabrick has never been so happy to be a part of preseason two-a-day workouts.
Regaining health after suffering through a torn left ACL will make you feel that way.
The Portales High junior was back in action as the defending Class 3A state champion Lady Rams’ volleyball team began preseason drills this week, seven months after she was injured during an early-season basketball game.
“I’m really excited to be back,” said the 5-foot-9 outside hitter-middle hitter. “I was worried I wouldn’t have the same skills I had, but I can do everything I could before.”
Helping make sure she rehabbed properly was her dad, Ed Kabrick, the head trainer at Eastern New Mexico University. “It’s great; I love having him around,” she said.
While every athlete responds differently to injury, Ed Kabrick said his daughter handled it pretty well.
“We butted heads a few times, but there were some days she enjoyed having me to help her do her rehab,” he said. “There’s less than a handful of times I had to tell her to work out or run.”
Now that’s she’s been cleared to play, the only problem has been adjusting to wearing a knee brace.
She knows wearing it is in her best interests, but it took some time to get used to it.
“I hated it (at first),” she said. “It just feels like something’s stuck to your leg. I wanted to throw it in the trash can.”
Kabrick’s assets go beyond her physical talent, PHS volleyball coach Ruth Chavez said.
“Megan is a team leader,” she said. “She’s the type of kid every coach wants on her team. She has great athletic ability, but the way she carries herself on the court is really good.”
So far, Chavez said, Kabrick doesn’t appear to have any ill effects from the injury.
“I don’t notice a thing,” Chavez said. “If I didn’t know she had the injury I couldn’t tell, except for the brace.”
Kabrick has already been a part of three state championship teams in Portales — two in basketball and one in volleyball — since her parents moved here from Tulsa three years ago. But sitting out last year’s run in basketball tested her patience.
“It was so hard,” she said. “I was still part of the team, but I was just watching.
“I’ve seen (ACL injuries) happen because of my dad, but I never thought it would happen to me.”
With the Lady Rams losing six seniors from last year’s team, most of whom were contributors, Megan Kabrick’s return is important in Portales’ bid for a 3A repeat.
And she’s anxious to get started.
“I think we’re going to be just as good as we were last year,” she said. “We have big shoes to fill, but we can do it.
“I can’t wait for the first game.”