Nagging pain is common for any athlete to deal with. So, when Dallas senior Emilo Miranda checked into the doctor’s office for an MRI after the football season, he didn’t expect such bad news - a torn ACL and partially torn meniscus in his right knee has ended his high school athletic career.
Miranda hyper-extended his knee in the Dragons homecoming game against South Albany and would miss the remainder of that contest. He returned two weeks later in Dallas’ historical showdown against Crescent Valley.
“I tried to go right back in the game against South Albany,” said Miranda. “But every time I tried to go back in, my knee just kept giving out. So in the game against Crescent Valley, I was about 70%. But I got 10 or so carries and I could feel my thigh and hamstring getting stronger every week.”
He rehabbed every day to try to get his knee back to as near 100% as he could. Miranda never doubted that he would be available for either of Dallas’ playoff games against Putnam and later Thurston.
“I was with the athletic trainer pretty much every day,” said Miranda. “Going into the Putnam game I was feeling a lot better but still not ready to take the majority of the load. But the next week against Thurston, I was back to getting my normal amount of touches.”
Thurston eliminated Dallas in the quarterfinals of the playoffs but Miranda still notched a second-team all-league selection at the conclusion of the season.
As the page turned from fall to winter, Miranda mentally prepared to play his final season of basketball with a group of guys he’s been around ever since he came to Dallas. But that all changed once he got the MRI results back on his knee.
“It never felt as bad as it actually was,” said Miranda. “But it was rough because I’m a winter sport guy, too, and it was tough to learn that I wasn’t going to be able to play basketball. My big goal was to finish out my senior season of football and I was able to so I’m satisfied with that.”
In the days when more and more athletes think about their own self-interests, Miranda could have easily stayed home and continued his recovery from there. That was never a thought that crossed his mind.
Following a successful surgery, Miranda can now be seen jumping up and down on the Dragons bench and trying to provide as much positive energy and leadership as he can.
“I feel like it’s a big responsibility to be out there for my guys,” said Miranda. “Especially for my seniors. I’ve been playing with those guys for five years and so I just try to continue to be a leader when I’m there. That’s something I’ve always tried to do is be that energizer for the team and when something happens I just get so hyped.”
Miranda continues to progress in his physical therapy and is already well ahead of his projected recovery timeline. After graduating at the end of the year, Miranda hopes to continue playing at the next level where he’s already garnered some attention.
“My main goal is getting my knee back to full health,” said Miranda. “Playing at the next level is something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently and I’ve taken some visits to local colleges and talked with some coaches. But my first goal is getting back to 100%.”