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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Comeback kid Brandon Rothfuss ready for fall season

“It’s extremely unfortunate what happened,” said assistant men’s soccer coach Peter Truitt. “It’s tough to stick with it, and keep your hopes high.”

Junior forward Brandon Rothfuss, captain of the men’s soccer team, suffered two major knee injuries playing the game that he loves.

But he’s not hanging up the cleats yet.

“To come back from serious injuries two times was very inspiring,” said sophomore soccer defender Jake Elsey. “I think he shows a lot of endurance and courage coming back on the soccer field next season.”

While studying abroad in London, Rothfuss tried out for the Imperial College soccer team, where he took three classes that included British life and business and an internship at a non-profit that specialized in coaching kids in an after school program.

On Feb. 9, 2013, in the third game of the season, Rothfuss’ right leg hyperextended when an opponent kicked his thigh as Rothfuss challenged them for the ball in the air.

The result? A torn LCL.

“They said I wouldn’t be able to play for a whole year, but I was fortunate to come back six months later,” said Rothfuss.

After months on crutches, physical therapy and surgery, Rothfuss was finally cleared to play on Sept. 17, 2013.

“I was excited to be able to get back at it,” said Rothfuss. “The doctors said I was almost paralyzed in my right leg, which is pretty scary to not be able to play the sport I have been growing up to love so much.”

But eight seconds into his comeback, the same day he was cleared for contact, Rothfuss would go down yet again.

This time, a teammate accidently kicked him and the knee hyperextended.

The result? A torn ACL and meniscus in the right knee.

“It was a big letdown to be working that hard for that long of a time to just come back and redo everything that just happened,” said Rothfuss.

While recovering, the captain showed his dedication to the team by attending all Guilford’s practices and games.

“Even with the injury … he still shows up to everything and gathers the group together,” said first-year defender Cam Stewart.

Sitting out the majority of his junior season, Rothfuss watched and cheered from the sidelines, living vicariously through his teammates.

“I tried to turn it around and make it positive, and it helped me to become a better leader not so much on the field but also off the field,” Rothfuss said.

Even while rehabbing, the forward has proved to be a great asset.

“Being able to watch from the sidelines has definitely taught him a lot in terms of leadership,” said Dillon. “He’s the one that’s there to pick everyone back up and get everyone motivated.”

Although a tough decision, Rothfuss has decided to return to the sport he loves despite the injuries. The team is looking forward to his full recovery and return to his peak performance.

“His comeback next season really speaks to his character as a dedicated student athlete,” said Elsey. “I am excited he has the chance to prove himself for his senior season.”

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