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Piedmont Athens Regional Names Rising Ninth Grader Reagan Roberts Athlete of the Month

Athens, Ga. (June 16, 2022)—Piedmont Athens Regional’s Sports Medicine department announced Reagan Roberts, a rising ninth grader at Oconee County High School, has been named Athlete of the Month, a program that recognizes one student athlete each month for his/her demonstrated perseverance through an athletic injury or medical illness either on or off the field.

Roberts is an accomplished softball player and played first base during the Oconee County Middle School softball team’s 2021-2022 season. The same traits Roberts displays on the field, consistency, integrity, and self-motivation, are the same traits she displayed as she completed rehabilitation for a left knee ACL reconstruction with a hamstring autograft.

“Following surgery, the plan we made was to improve Reagan’s strength, range of motion, and functional demands so she could return to softball,” said Zach Gretsch, a physical therapist at Piedmont Athens Regional’s Orthopedic Sports Medicine. “An ACL reconstruction typically takes nine months to a year of rehab before the athlete returns to his or her sport. Through her hard work and dedication, Reagan has met and exceeded all of the “return to sport” criteria seven and a half months post-surgery and is back to playing softball.”

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four ligaments that connect the thigh bone to the shin bone and helps stabilize the knee joint. An ACL injury or tear commonly occurs after twisting or overextending the knee. Often, surgery is needed to repair the ACL, and ACL reconstruction surgery with a hamstring autograft is a surgical procedure that replaces the damaged ACL with a hamstring tendon.

“Reagan is the hardest working athlete that I’ve met to date,” said Chynna Campbell, Piedmont Athens Regional’s head athletic trainer at Oconee County Middle School. “Reagan not only attended all of her physical therapy appointments, she would film herself doing her exercises at home, and would come to see me after school to get additional rehab. From the moment she found out that she would need surgery, she was determined to work hard to get back on the field.”

The Athlete of the Month program was established by Piedmont Athens Regional’s Orthopedic Sports Medicine team in an effort to support and recognize local, hard-working student athletes.

“The athletes we work with are truly amazing and have to overcome so much in order to play sports again after an injury or illness,” said Katie Terrell, athletic trainer and outreach coordinator for the hospital’s sports medicine program. “The award was developed to celebrate their hard work in our sports medicine rehab program. Each month, we focus on one high school and meet as a committee, which includes the school’s athletic director, other members of their team and members of the athletic training program.”

As the Athlete of the Month, Roberts received a certificate and is featured in the Orthopedic Sports Medicine facility located on Piedmont’s Oconee Health Campus in Watkinsville, Ga.

For more information about services offered through Piedmont Physicians Orthopedic Sports Medicine of Athens, click here

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