A year ago Jadyn Kaufmann’s volleyball season and aspirations of a sectional championship ended in an instant when she tore her ACL just prior to sectionals. A year later the Bruin setter and co-captain helped lead the unranked Bruins to a sectional championship and then an upset of No. 3 ranked Morgan Township in regionals. However, her journey from despair to triumph—shared recently in chapel—was not easy.

Throughout her 8 month-recovery, Jadyn struggled with personal disappointment as well as guilt, blaming herself for letting her team down at a crucial moment—even though she knew that it really was not her fault.

Yet, in times like these, she found the Bethany community to be exactly what she needed. Following surgery she was visited by many friends, family, teachers, and coaches. “Many also prayed for me. I felt the true extent of what it meant to be part of a community that loves and supports one another--and was immediately grateful for it.”

Dreading 8 months without sports, Jadyn continued her plans to participate in basketball and track, attending practices and games even though she could not compete. “I have always defined part of myself as an athlete, as part of team. I had to find a way to help support and encourage my team from the sidelines, a role that I had not been in very often.”

Jadyn’s dedication to her teammates was returned and helped with her recovery process. “My team celebrated my recovery achievements with me. They were the ones who kept me accountable to keep up with therapy at practices and before games when I had no drive myself, when I was overwhelmed by the seemingly insignificant daily progress.”

As a result of this uninvited journey—one that took lots of grit and determination—Jadyn values more what it means to be part of a team and community. “I have learned how to encourage and cheer for my teammates and enjoy each minute I get to be with them on the court, playing the sports we love together.”

Photo ID: Jadyn (top left) pictured with fifth-grader Jovie Vardaman and basketball teammates Emma Thomas, Karina Kern, and Mariah Miller, endearingly dubbed the "troubled children" for their nagging injuries last season.