SOUTHINGTON - Brandon Kohl has never let an injury get in the way of doing what he loves, even if he had to go under the knife on three separate occasions.
“If we had a courage award at Southington High School I truly believe that Brandon would have won that,” Southington baseball coach Charlie Lembo said. “Brandon not only has had one knee surgery after the fall, not two, but three.”
Each year as winter turned into spring, and the baseball team would be fine tuning - trying to get their arms loose and in shape, throw, hit - Kohl was going through physical therapy from his surgery to be cleared to play baseball.
“Spring has always been tough for me,” Kohl said. “But as soon as I got the ball rolling it’s just been nothing but good things. I can’t say enough amazing things about my teammates, coaches and everyone here at Southington it’s going to be something I remember forever.”
It was in his sophomore season of football as a Blue Knight when Kohl initially blew out his knee. More surgeries soon followed.
“Junior year, I had to have my meniscus repaired on my other knee, and this past fall I had another ACL tear,” Kohl said.
Kohl’s perseverance and dedication toward sports have not gone unnoticed. And the outgoing senior’s work ethic was constantly on display
“He was always working into the season as we were going, but he never gave up.” Lembo said. “He just always kept working hard.”
Kohl will be living out his childhood dream of playing baseball in college. In the fall, he will be attending Western New England University, a Division-III program, in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.
“I loved the campus,” Kohl said. “I fell in love with it as soon as I got up there. I talked to the coach a little bit and he seemed like an outstanding guy. I also have a couple friends up there and a couple people that my parents know and they’ve had nothing but good things to say about the school.”
Educational wise, Western New England was the perfect fit. There, he will be majoring in biomedical engineering.
“Their engineering program is second to none,” Kohl said. “It has a 99 job percentage rate right out of college.”
Kohl has been playing baseball for as long as he could remember. His initial memory about the sport wasn’t him on a team, but of him and his father playing wiffle ball in the backyard.
“I love the sport and it’s been nothing but good for me,” Kohl said. “Some people say baseball is boring to watch but when you’re up at the play, just everything, all the motions going through your head, the adrenalin rush, hoping to get a hit. It’s just all the emotions you get, I love the feeling.”
And although it was a tough four years, he managed to do it. He played both sports football and baseball every single year.
“Three knee surgeries for a high school kid and all the rehab he had to go through to just fulfill one of his dreams, to go on to play college baseball, I think it’s awesome,” Lembo said. “That just proves the character he has. I think he’s going to do very well. I think that schools going to be a great fit for him academically, athletically. I just wish him the best.”
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org