Most high-school seniors don’t have to travel the road to 12th grade that Frederick’s Cruz Zamudio did.
“I tore my labrum during football season and didn’t know it was torn until December,” said the Golden Eagles’ two-sport athlete. He also plays baseball.
“I think it happened around Halloween. Around Thanksgiving, my dad and I played some catch with the baseball, and it still was hurting. So out of precaution, we went to get it checked out.”
That led to surgery in January and a potential four-to six- month recovery. The labrum is a rim of soft tissue that surrounds the socket of a joint — a shoulder joint in his case.
“Once I had the surgery, I had to be in a sling for about four weeks straight,” Zamudio said. “Then I started physical therapy, which was twice a week for about three months. At first, it was painful. My range of motion was not good, and my arm was very weak due to not moving it for the first four weeks.”
His arm strength and his range of motion improved to a point that Zamudio started a throwing program in the fourth month. But, there was still a certain amount of uncertainty.
“I was unsure if I would be able to through again to play high-level baseball. But as time went on and I saw the improvements weekly, I realized I would be able to make a full recovery,” he said. “The goal with the surgery from the beginning was to be able to play baseball in college if I got an opportunity.”
Zamudio missed most of his junior year of baseball with the Golden Eagles.
“That was tough mentally. During my sophomore year, I made honorable mention all-state and had a great sophomore year,” Zamudio said. “I wanted to follow that up with another strong junior year, but that just wasn’t possible. I decided to focus on getting stronger and refining the mechanics of my baseball swing. I was able to swing the bat at 100 percent around May. This allowed me to DH for the last four weeks of the baseball season.”
Zamudio has no restrictions for either football or baseball. The Golden Eagles open up the football season at home against Holly Family at 7 p.m. Aug. 26.
“Dad didn’t allow me to play football until eighth grade because he didn’t want to see me get hurt. I wasn’t the biggest kid,” Zamudio said. “But I am very thankful that he did. I couldn’t imagine not playing football for my high-school team now on Friday nights and representing my high school. Football is different than baseball. It makes you tougher, stronger, and a better teammate. It is a brotherhood.”
Zamudio sports a 4.46 grade-point average and a 1420 score on his SATs. He’s a two-time academic all-state selection.
“Playing multiple sports in high school is difficult. Each sport takes a lot of time and dedication,” Zamudio said. “I am preparing to apply to colleges now, and I need to document time spent on extracurricular activities. It is amazing the amount of time I have spent on these two sports when I dig into the number of hours spent on each.”
He takes some time off in December. Baseball resumes in January and continues through October. He dons the football gear from June to November.
“Now throw in academics and it is difficult,” Zamudio said. “However, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The relationships and memories I have made over the years playing each sport have been awesome. I have spoken to high academic schools with baseball and football programs, and I know they can appreciate me playing multiple sports.
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