Back in the game

The Baltimore Sun

Harford Tech goalie J.D. Snyder certainly knows how to bounce back quickly from an injury.

The senior underwent surgery for an umbilical hernia Sept. 12 and was medically cleared to get back on the soccer field the next day. He took part in the team's practice that day and played a few minutes on defense four days after the surgery in Harford Tech's victory. Snyder was back in goal six days post-surgery, helping the Cobras to a 2-2 tie with Patterson Mill.

The procedure originally was supposed to have been done in late May but it got pushed back , and Snyder and coach Andy Bleichfeld thought the goalie might miss a few games. But he never missed a beat.

Did you have any idea that you would be able to be back on the field so fast after the operation?

I had no idea. Apparently the hernia was only about the size of a large pen, and they said it wasn't that serious. I was in there for about half an hour, and the doctor let my mom know that ... I had no limited restrictions other than weights

What were you worried about when you played defense a few days after the procedure?

I was just hoping nobody was going to elbow me in the gut. It was fine, and we came away with a victory. I played about 10 minutes, closer to the end.

What was it like to be back in goal so soon after the procedure?

Well, it was a very intense game. I was really cautious at the practice before. We were just making sure I could dive and stretch and do everything. I was fine. I started picking it up in practice and I was ready for that game.

When did you find out that you had a hernia?

I found out about a year ago. In the spring, my doctor said, "'Let's get it done,'" and we set it up for around Memorial Day. But then it got pushed back.

Since then, how have you felt on the field?

Everything is back to the way it was. I'm at 110 percent. I wouldn't have known it was there except that I felt it in my gut, and the doctor said it was a hernia. I was just kind of worried about what they were going to do. Sports are a big thing in my life right now, and I didn't want anything to interrupt my schedule.

How will this affect your other athletic activities?

I also swim and play lacrosse. I was told that I can't submerge for a month, but that's OK because swimming doesn't start until Nov. 15. I was hoping to play fall lacrosse, but I'm waiting on medical clearance.

How surprised were your teammates that you were back so quickly?

They didn't really expect me to be out on the field that next day. Most of them were pretty shocked. But I think they were a little grateful because I'm the starting goalie, and I was there to back them up. And it's what I wanted to do.

What are your plans for next year?

I'm applying to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. I want to study engineering. I'm getting all my paperwork for my congressional nomination together this weekend.

Do you want to play any sports there?

Lacrosse. That's my dream, to play lacrosse in college. I'm a face-off middie, and I'd love to play at Air Force.

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