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FREDERICK — Brandon Zuniga had a less-than-desirable vantage point as his Frederick High School baseball team came up just short of a playoff spot this season.
Zuniga’s season came to an end when he fractured his hip during a game against Berthoud in mid-April.
“I was walking weird,” he said. “I thought it was just sore hips, that I’d be alright. The swing in the game finished it off.”
Zuniga didn’t require therapy; in fact, he was off his crutches in time for the junior-senior prom the end of April.
“I have them in the car, just in case,” he said. “The doctors told me to relax and not to work out. Regular walking is alright.”
Needless to say, it was a big adjustment from a spot in the starting lineup to a spot on the bench.
“It was hard,” he said. “I wanted to be back, but I need to get stronger. I’ve had a lot of family help. I’ve taken the dog out for a walk for some exercise. It’s been hard to be out this much this season. It got to me.
“When I was in the hospital, I got a lot of texts from the players on the team saying, ‘Keep your head up … we’re behind you all the way,’” he added. “That felt good. I felt like I was missing something important.”
Zuniga also had the chance to do some self-learning while he watched the end of the high school season.
“I am strong, and I can’t give up on baseball,” he said. “There were times when I wanted to give up, that I didn’t know how long I’d be out. But it makes me more excited for next year.”
“It hurt me that I couldn’t finish my junior year,” Zuniga added. “Colleges look at the junior year. It’s a big part of recruiting. I started slow this year but thought I was back on track.”
Though the doctors said the injury is healed, Zuniga isn’t taking any chances. He missed the last month of the high school season and will miss the summer baseball season as well.
“I’m going to work out some during the summer. My brother will be home from college, so he’ll help me get stronger,” Zuniga said. “I love being around the game of baseball.”
Contact Sports Editor Steve Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.