2014-02-22 / The Bullhorn

RCS baseball player beating the odds

By Anderson Clayton
Bullhorn Assignment Editor

Travis Hodgin Travis Hodgin From day one, Roxboro Community School (RCS) student

Travis Hodgin knew he was born to play baseball. He hopes to attend ECU on a baseball scholarship and study physical therapy.

After playing baseball for 15 years without an injury, last year proved to be the exception for Hodgin.

“I tore my rotator cuff and slightly tore my labrum right at the beginning of baseball season,” said Hodgin.

He hopes, however, that his shoulder will be “100 percent” this season, and that he can “help [his] team do something [it has] never done.”

Even with an injured shoulder, Hodgin continued to play – the entire season of school ball and the regular season of legion baseball – as an outfielder, instead of second baseman, because of the distance he is able to throw. Baseball coach Pete Tuck said, “He’s been a starter since freshman year, and a very integral part of the baseball team. [The surgery will] cost him the early part of the season, but we’re hoping for a strong comeback around Easter. “Everyone thought his freshman year was his best year because he was hitting 300, but I think it was his sophomore year because he played through that pain all season. I think some people didn’t realize he was hurting,” continued Tuck.

Hodgin said, “I felt like I owed it to my team to play through the pain and to be out there for them. I also wanted to play as much as I could before my surgery.”

Hodgin had two surgeries, one for his rotator cuff and labral repair on July 9, 2013 and another for scar tissue removal on Nov. 7, 2013. He said he never feared not playing baseball again, because his surgeon, Allison Toth, assured him he would.

“Baseball means everything to me. Playing ball is something I can do to clear my mind of any problems I have,” said Hodgin.

“I think going through the surgeries has made me appreciate the fact that God gave me the ability to play the game I love. Most kids aren’t blessed like that,” Hodgin concluded.

When asked who has been the most influential person in his baseball career, Hodgin said, “My dad has definitely influenced me the most. He has always pushed me to be better, gave me all the tools I needed, and never let me give up on the game.”

Hodgin said he thanks Cody Morast, Samuel Whitt, Tanner Powell, Jarren Winstead, Drew Long and Maurice Little, as these people pushed and helped him the most to come back playing better than before.

When asked how the boys have prepared for the upcoming season, Tuck said, “We’re a year older, a year wiser. The biggest thing is that no one was satisfied with only making it to the third round of playoffs last year. The boys have put individual accolades aside and focused on the team’s goal this year.”

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