Not that long ago, in relative terms, when an athlete would tear an anterior cruciate ligament, it often meant the end of their career. Now thanks to the miracles of modern medicine, many of them return to play in less than a year. Gooch tore her ACL during Smithton’s Homecoming Game in basketball her junior year. She had her knee surgically repaired Feb. 15, 2011 with a fairly new procedure called a double bundle using her own ham string, at the Orthopeadic Group in Columbia.
She missed her junior track season last spring, but returned for her senior volleyball season last fall.
“I might have had a little fear at first when I came back,” she said.”But really I was so excited to get back into playing again.”
Gooch, 18 and a senior at Cole Camp, earned three All-State medals her sophomore year at the State Track and Field Championships at Jefferson City. She finished eighth in the high jump, fifth in the 400-meter dash and eighth as a member of Cole Camp’s 4 X 200-meter relay. She also earned All District and All Sectional to quality for the state meet that year.
Gooch is a three-sport athlete at Cole Camp, and at one time participated in four. She has played four years of volleyball, four years of basketball, where she was leading rebounder this year, and three seasons of track. She played softball her freshmen year but gave that up because softball is also played in the spring and it conflicted with track.
Gooch has done quite well in the classroom, with an overall grade point average of 3.69 on a 4.0 scale, scored a 21 on the ACT and is ranked 11th out of 49 seniors at Cole Camp. She is a member of the National Honor Society, has been named Academic All Kaysinger Conference in both volleyball and basketball and is also involved in the school’s A+ Program.
“Academics are more important,” said Gooch. “You have to have the grades to play the sports. Grades take you further in life.”
Gooch is taking weighted course Anatomy I this year.
Gooch has been accepted at State Fair Community College, the University of Missouri-Columbia, and Westminster in Fulton. MU, Westminster, and Central Methodist University have shown an interest in her for track and CMU has made her an offer.
“I really want to do track in college,” she said. “But it’s pretty much set in stone that I’m going to State Fair my first two years. I’m just not sure where I will transfer to after that.” Westminster doesn’t offer athletic scholarships but has guarenteed her a position on the track team.
Gooch plans to major in nursing and eventual wants to become a nurse practitioner with pediatrics has her primary field.
Besides the three sports teams at Cole Camp, Gooch is a member of the FCCLA, FBLA, NHS, A+, the Art Club, the Science Club, C Club and Encore.
Gooch has played softball since the age of five and played one year at Cole Camp. She played soccer from age eight until she reached junior high. She gave that up to play volleyball. She has played four years of basketball and volleyball, three years of track and one season of softball.
“That’s a hard question,” said Gooch when asked which sport was her favorite. “I guess it would be between track and basketball. That’s a hard one.”
She said winning the state medals in track and making her first two point shot outside of the lane in basketball this season are the highlights of her high school athletic career to this point. Gooch currently has earned more than 70 career track medals and the season is not over.
Jobs she has held are working as a lifeguard at the Cole Camp pool and as a ticket taker at the Fair last summer and among her hobbies are swimming, fishing and spending time with friends and family.
Gooch has one sister, Kaylei Gooch, 19 of Cole Camp who is a student at State Fair. She is the daughter of Donna and Kim Gooch, Cole Camp.