Despite of two injuries setting back her high school athletic career, La Grande freshman Lacey Miles has stayed positive and dedicated to her team.
After fracturing her ankle last fall and then tearing her ACL this winter, Miles is preparing for surgery and recovery with plans to return to the basketball court next season. However, she will not be returning to the soccer field due to the length of recovery time required.
She initially fractured her ankle during the soccer season, just before her team’s first playoff match and was unable to play.
“It’s not easy to lose anyone. She was one of our key players off the bench,” La Grande soccer coach Sam Brown said.
The girls soccer team managed in her absence, but, according to Brown, it would have been nice to have her on the field.
“As a freshman, she played excellently. I was very pleased to say the least,” Brown said.
Her recovery and physical therapy focused on restoring full motion to her ankle so she could continue to play basketball. “I had to go on an elliptical a lot,” Miles said.
Then, just a couple of weeks ago, after finally recovering from her ankle injury, she tore her ACL during the Tigers’ first game against Nyssa on Jan. 14. The Tigers lost the game, 53-44, and also lost Miles.
According to Miles, her friend, Kali Avila, was hit in the head with the ball really hard during the game and had to sit out for the remainder.
Miles, who had been subbed into the game earlier, helped Avila, and then, when play resumed, she went to save the ball from going out of bounds.
“I jumped and I landed on my knee and it popped,” she said. “My dad (Brian) knew right then that it wasn’t going to be good.”
Her father, Brian Miles, who coached her the year before, knew it was something major. “It’s been devastating. She worked so hard last year, and was starting to show she should be there with her team,” he said.
“I’m really upset that I can’t play anymore because of my ankle and then tearing my ACL. Now I can’t play for another six months or so, “ Miles said.
Even though she was nervous as a freshman coming into a varsity team, she knew she was ready for the level of competition she would be facing.
“The more you show your coaches how hard you can play and how much you’re improving each practice, that is what they look for, and that’s what really got me into the level I am now. How hard you work and how bad you want it,” Miles said.
Her father, Brian, is proud of how she has handled the injuries and not being able to play. “She’s keeping her head held high. She is a strong kid,” he said.
It has been hard for her to watch her team play without her. However, she remains positive even knowing she is out of the game for a time.
“I feel good about myself being able to watch them and support them and cheer them on, because they’re doing awesome!” Miles said.
After surgery, her recovery will require rest and new physical therapy. Miles wants to eat healthy and stay healthy to keep in as good of shape as she possibly can.
“I’m going to work really hard, because I want to be able to play basketball next year,” Miles said.