A satisfying feeling, indeed.
An ACL and meniscus tear cut Noah Mejia’s football season short. The injury cost him his senior year of hoops. After viewing things through a separate lens, Mejia grew as an athlete and an individual. Now he’s back on the baseball field.
“I tried to not play the ‘why me?’ card,” Mejia said. “I think everything happens for a reason. I dug deeper into my faith, and my friends really picked me up. Like Dawson (Fritz), he motivated me everyday to get back out there for baseball season.”
Mejia said he’s still a little nervous, and is working his muscles back into shape following the atrophy that typically comes with long layoffs. He managed to get some swings in the batting cage before the season began, and was cleared for full baseball activity on March 1.
“I’m pretty excited and I know the guys are too,” Mejia said. “I’ve been sidelined for awhile now. A little nervous but that’s just because I’ve been out of it for awhile.”
Mejia spent basketball season helping the coaching staff wherever he could. He wore a shirt and tie on game days, and would often look over toward coaches as they discussed strategy and gameflow.
He said the difference in perspective helped him see the game from a new angle, and believes the experience will help him become a better player thanks to an improved understanding of details.
“Be more coachable. I would say most of the time your coaches are right,” Mejia said. “Even if you think you didn’t do anything wrong, taking it in and translating it to the court or field. It could be anything from like being in the right place, having a better approach at the plate. Be one step ahead of the game like you would for basketball. Our basketball coaches are very detail-oriented so I started catching onto those things.”
For the team, Mejia offers the group an experienced infielder that knows how to exercise patience at the plate.
“In theory it gives us another powerful bat early in the lineup… That’s what we’re expecting going forward,” MM coach Greg Bussell said. “It’s great to have him back. He hit over .400 last year, and we’re hoping that he can do the same for us this year.”
And for the player, well, it’s just good to be back.
“It felt amazing,” Mejia said. “I didn’t expect to go out there and do anything amazing I was just happy to be back out there. All that pain and grinding the last three months finally paid off and it was a very satisfying feeling.”