Steve Schopen felt the pain, took just one glance at his ruined ankle, and decided that was all the information he needed about his devastating injury.
On Sept. 21, the senior from Lyons suffered a gruesome displace fracture of his right fibula during a football game against Clear Creek — the Lions’ first contest following the floods that devastated their towns.
Schopen’s leg was similarly devastating, with his foot twisted awkwardly for the entire crowd at Everly-Montgomery Field to see. Not ready to write off the end of his athletic career at Lyons just yet, Schopen made an emotional return to the Lyons basketball team last week and even knocked down a 3-pointer in his comeback game against Eaton on Friday.
“I took one look at my ankle and didn’t look back,” Schopen said. “I was pretty scared, but after that it was just about one thing at a time.”
Schopen endured two surgeries. One occurred about a week after the injury, during which doctors inserted a plate in his ankle, put a pin through both leg bones, and repaired ligament damage in the ankle. In early January, Schopen underwent another procedure to remove the pin, and afterward he was able to intensify his rehabilitation efforts.
A fixture on crutches on the Lyons sideline throughout the end of the football season, Schopen has dutifully attended just about all of the Lions’ basketball practices to remain involved with the team. Finally being able to return to the court provided an emotional epilogue to a prep athletic career that appeared over in painful fashion last September.
“I’m not fully there yet, but it’s been fun to get back out there on the court,” Schopen said. “I’ll get back to where I was, but there will probably always be a little tweak in there.”
SPORTSWOMEN OF COLORADO
Three local standouts will be honored by the Sportswomen of Colorado as athletes of the year in their respective sports during a banquet on March 9 at the Hyatt Regency in the Denver Tech Center. The list of honorees includes Niwot cross country star Elise Cranny, former Peak to Peak and current Western State soccer player Belle Morel, and former Legacy and current Tennessee softball player Rainey Gaffin.
Pairings for the Class 4A and Class 5A boys and girls state basketball tournaments will be released Sunday, alongside district tournament pairings for the lower classifications.
Broomfield graduate Courtney Derus was named the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference softball player of the week for Colorado Mines after playing a part in more than two-thirds of the Orediggers’ runs during a four-game sweep of Southwest Minnesota State, recording a two-run double, a two-run triple, and a two-run home run … Niwot alum Nickie Blue has made a seamless transition to Division I softball at South Carolina. In her first eight appearances in the pitcher’s circle for the Gamecocks, Blue produced a 6-1 record with 17 strikeouts and only eight earned runs allowed in 29 innings.
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