BASKETBALL: Positivity helping Vold, Hoffman through season-ending injuries
BEMIDJI -- Taylor Vold and Jacob Hoffman aren’t where they expected they’d be right now. Vold, a sophomore on the Bemidji State women’s basketball team, and Hoffman, a junior on the men’s team, are both adjusting to life on the bench after suffering season-ending injuries.
But there’s no pity party in these parts.
“A big thing in our team, which has always been a big part of our team, is trying to keep our spirits up,” Vold said. “… The thing for me that’s gotten a lot easier is going to practice and having it be a fun place to go. I’m not mad when I go there. Sure, I don’t get to play, I don’t get to practice, but I'm happy. I’m glad to be supporting my teammates.”
“I try to think as positively as I can,” Hoffman added. “I looked at it as an education opportunity for me to be able to get an internship this year and just learn as much as I can off the court so I can have a better junior season next year.”
Vold tore her ACL in a preseason practice -- her second tear in 11 months -- while Hoffman actually played in three games this year before a stress fracture in his foot derailed his season. For Vold, familiarity has helped to have under her belt throughout a grueling rehab process.
“It’s always hard,” she said. “I wouldn’t say it’s easy ever, but it’s easier knowing (what to expect). … And a thing I always have to remember is that I get to try again. Not everyone gets to try again, and I do.”
Hoffman, meanwhile, is absorbing as much as he can from the sidelines through a new lens, which he believes will pay off once he returns to the court fully healthy.
“I have a chance to really sit behind (head coach Mike Boschee) and learn how he thinks,” Hoffman said. “It will help me out a lot for the next couple years. … It’s a huge learning experience this year, and I’m definitely not taking it for granted. I’m going to try my best to get better even though I really can’t do anything physical.”
The two are certainly missed on the court, however.
Vold, a 6-foot forward from Hermantown, proved to be one of BSU’s most talented athletes during a freshman campaign where she averaged 4.6 points and 2.6 rebounds. And Hoffman, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard out of Horsens, Denmark, instantly became one of the premier 3-point threats in the conference during his first season at Bemidji State. Both became pieces that aren’t easy to replace.
“(I’m) just being in my bed, resting up and watching basketball here and there,” Hoffman said. “I try to get out as much as I can, but there’s not really much that I can do. I try to go day-by-day by just showing up to practice, learning as much as I can.”
Academics also factor into the equation. Both are taking medical redshirts this season, which means an extra year of hitting the books. But they each view the situation as a positive, citing added opportunity to pick up minors or majors.
“It’s not that big of a transition for me, having to be here another year,” Vold said. “I wouldn’t change it. I get to be around the coaches a whole nother year. I love being around them. That’s always fun. I think of it more as another opportunity than a letdown.”
There’s no easy road to get through a season-ending setback. But, as the ailing Beavers are learning, a mindset goes a long way.
“A lot of times you get hit with a lot of emotions and that takes over,” Vold said. “I think my goal, and what I’ve been focusing on a lot this time, is just trying to stay positive. At the end of the day, that’s what’s going to help you keep fighting in times you don’t want to.”