By: Chandler Ragsdale
Trey Matthews plays baseball at Southern Wesleyan University in Central, SC (near Clemson, SC). He is a redshirt Sophomore catcher from Plant City, FL. Being a catcher, one of the most important parts of his body that Trey uses are his knees. What makes Trey’s knees unique, specifically his left one, is the fact that he has already torn his ACL twice, and he has torn his meniscus once, all in the same knee. Being that this is only his third year in college and he has already had three knee surgeries, the fact that Trey is playing productive baseball today is remarkable.
All three of his knee injuries/surgeries have been a result from playing baseball, but yet, Trey continues to play the game that he loves. I had the opportunity to sit down with Trey and talk with him in an interview about how this has affected him, and why he continues to persevere to play baseball today.
Trey’s first knee injury came in May 2015, as he was preparing to go into his freshmen year of baseball at SWU. Being such a surprise and somber realization, Trey admitted that he cried at first, and that he “was devastated.” Although, Trey knew that he loved baseball and was going to come back no matter what.
After surgery and physical therapy, Trey had made his way back to the diamond. He was able to play three games during his freshmen year at SWU before another devastating injury occurred in March of 2016. This time it was a torn meniscus only. Trey described this surgery as being easier and less of a burden, being that he had already made his way back once.
Now after two serious knee injuries, Trey was ready to get on with his collegiate baseball career and show what he could do from behind the plate for his team. While his attitude and mental state were ready, his body was not. In September of 2016, Trey once again tore his ACL in his left knee, the same knee that the previous two injuries had occurred in. By this time, Trey said that he “wanted to quit baseball.”
This injury had dropped Trey to only 175 pounds, and he was on crutches for six weeks. However, after much prayer and discussion between him, his former coach, and his parents, Trey decided that he would perform another rehab stint and do his best to make it back to baseball. When asked what made him decide to keep going, Trey simply said, “I love baseball too much.”
Now that his knee is healthy again, Trey Matthews is playing baseball for a thriving Southern Wesleyan University baseball team. They are 10-3 on the 2018 season so far, and looking to add many more wins to that total (swuathletics.com). Trey has been able to contribute to a part of that so far this season. I was in attendance at a game on February 6 that featured Southern Wesleyan University against Mars Hill College. Trey hit a crucial home run in that game to dead center field. That to me was a great sight to see, and proof of what perseverance such as Trey’s can bring.
Sources: Trey Matthews Interview [Personal interview]. (2018, February 13).
Photo: Southern Wesleyan University Catcher Trey Matthews
Photo Source: Bolton, J. (2018, February 7). [Photograph]. 20180206 Mars Hill vs SWU BB, John Bolton Photography, Central, SC.