Rinck’s comeback after junior year injury

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Rinck’s comeback after junior year injury

Lacrosse captain, #16, midfielder Stephen Rinck.

Lacrosse captain, #16, midfielder Stephen Rinck.

Prasham Jobanputra

Lacrosse captain, #16, midfielder Stephen Rinck.

Prasham Jobanputra

Prasham Jobanputra

Lacrosse captain, #16, midfielder Stephen Rinck.

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TOWAMENCIN- There are so many different stories of athletes going through adversity and overcoming it and lacrosse captain, Stephen Rinck, went through a common adversity for high school athletes but one of the most stressful, a serious injury in your junior season.

During a game on a Friday last year, the Knights played the Rams from Pennridge and towards the end of the game, Rinck sprained his ankle but didn’t realize it.  That following Monday, Rinck was shooting around at a team pasta party and after a jump shot, Rinck landed awkwardly and later on found out his ankle was broken.

“We had a game the day after, one of our biggest games, and I tried to play on it, didn’t know it was broken at the time but it was pretty swollen.  So, I ended up not playing, took three weeks off and then I finally found out it was broken three weeks after it happened cause the x-rays didn’t really show it right away,” Rinck said.

Rinck missed 8 games last season before playing in the Knights playoff game, but “was probably fifty percent, if that” at the time.  He spent his summer in a boot and some colleges stopped calling and recruiting Rinck.

“I was pretty upset because I really wanted to play in college and my hopes kinda went down.  I wasn’t happy, I didn’t think I would be able to play in college” Rinck explained.

But once that boot came off, Rinck got a call that changed his future.

“In the end of August, I got the boot off and I was able to rehab for a week or two and then the Head Coach at Siena College, which is where I’m going now, he called me up after watching some film of me and he was basically like ‘Hey I saw some film, I really like what I see, is there any chance I could see you play?” Rinck said.

Rinck participated in a prospect day at Siena for Coach Liam Gleason and got an offer a few weeks later.

“I was so happy to hear that just cause knowing I didn’t play all summer and I missed my junior year, it was such a relief and weight lift off my shoulders and considering that I always had a dream since I was younger to play division one [lacrosse],” Rinck said.

With his future plans set, it was time to go to work.  A step behind everyone in training and preparing, Rinck had to zone in and work harder than ever before.

“I lost my speed, I lost some muscle obviously, so I definitely put in a lot of work.  Usually I put in a lot of offseason hours but this offseason, probably double that.  I was constantly staying after practice, staying in the weight room, just cause I knew I was a step behind but I knew this was my senior year, this is my last year here, so I really wanted to make it count,” Rinck said.

Without the support from his parents and friends, he doesn’t think any of this would be possible.

“Just a quick shout out to all my family, friends and coaches.  The coaches at North Penn, they’ve been helping me with recruiting and all that since my freshman year and it definitely means a lot that they’ve always had my back.  And just my friends, my teammates, we like to joke around a lot but at the end of the day, we’re all like family.  They’re all my brothers so I can’t wait to go into playoffs with them,” Rinck said.

The senior midfielder helped lead the Knights to an 11-6 overall record along with an 8-1 conference record.  They enter the playoffs as the 13th seed and will be at home against the Pennsbury Falcons at 7 o’clock Tuesday for the first round of playoffs.

It’s been a rollercoaster ride to say the least for Rinck and looking back it’s an experience he wished didn’t happen, but embraced to get to where he is now.

“I think before the injury I was kind of immature and before the injury I didn’t really take things as seriously and after the injury it was kind of like a reality check.  So, I don’t want to say I’m glad I broke my ankle but also it definitely helped me mature as a person and grow and just become the person I am today,” Rinck reflected.

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