Prep Soccer: West’s Hester signs with St. Andrews
By Nick Bowton
Allie Hester had made up her mind that she was going to play soccer in college, but she still hadn’t settled on which school when she partially tore the ACL in her right knee this past season at West Rowan.
An all-county player as a junior, Hester didn’t think her injury was too severe until an MRI revealed the tear.
“I was devastated,” said Hester, a midfielder who’s capable of playing anywhere on the field. “It was my senior year, you know? It was frustrating because I was still allowed to play with one of those big, heavy-duty braces, but I wasn’t able to do things like I normally could. I couldn’t turn, plant certain ways.
“It was really frustrating not being able to help the team.”
Hester couldn’t help the Falcons much as they advanced to the 3A playoffs ó she played three games after the injury but missed the rest of the season ó but she does plan on helping her future team, St. Andrews. Despite the knee injury, Hester received a scholarship package that was mostly academic/partly athletic, and she’ll head to Laurinburg to play for the Knights next season.
“I’ve always wanted to continue playing,” said Hester, who had three goals and two assists in 12 games as a senior. “It was just kind of a natural step for me to do.”
The unnatural part has been rehabilitating her right knee.
Hester, who also swam and played volleyball at West, had surgery May 7. She hasn’t been able to do everything St. Andrews coach Stevan Hernandez wants his Knights to do during their summer workouts, but she can jog, do squats and dribble the ball without cutting.
Physical therapists have told Hester she should be able to play this coming season and that she should be 100 percent by her sophomore year at St. Andrews, a Division II school that plays in Conference Carolinas with Pfeiffer.
West coach Nick Brown thinks the Knights will have a quality player in Hester once she heals.
“She definitely would have had an impact for us this year in the midfield,” Brown said. “She was one of our better players. And she seems to have a never-quit attitude. She’s always just going and going and going. She was all about the team, always there for the team when she was hurt.
“She never missed a practice, always trying to help out in whatever way she could even though she couldn’t help out on field.”