Sumter County’s Devon Dowdell overcomes terrible knee injury to pitch for the Panthers

Published 4:49 pm Wednesday, May 3, 2023

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AMERICUS – In all quests for greatness and success, the road to that success is always paved with adversity. For athletes, no matter what level they perform at, often that adversity is serious injury.

Such was the case of Sumter County (SCHS) senior basketball and baseball standout Devon Dowdell. On February 16 of this year, Dowdell, a guard on the SCHS basketball team, broke the top of his fibula bone and dislocated his knee cap in the Panthers’ 68-35 victory over Cook. It was a devastating injury for the senior shooting guard and it meant the end of his basketball career at Sumter County. Up until that point, Dowdell was averaging 7.6 points per game, 1.8 rebounds per game and 1.4 assists per game for the Panthers.

“Honestly, I was devastated because from the feeling of the injury, I knew that possibly my whole season would be canceled,” Dowdell said. “I was devastated at first, but I started to overcome it and face adversity and I had the support of my family and my teammates.”

Sumter County senior pitcher Devon Dowdell is seen here competing for the Panthers against Furlow Charter.
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As bad as the injury was, that did not stop Dowdell from rehabbing his body so that he could play the other sport that he loves: baseball. “To rehab was more mentally challenging to get up every day and do workouts,” Dowdell said. “The strength of my leg was decreased so I had to start small and do leg raises and then work my way up to weighted exercises, which took over a month.” Dowdell went on to say that he continued to do lots of weighted exercises to the point where he was able to shuffle and move around. His continued discipline and determination eventually enabled him to not only walk normally, but it enabled him to perform the leg motions of a pitcher, as he was able to toe the rubber on the mound and pitch for the SCHS baseball team.

Dowdell says that he would like to play baseball in college, but is undecided at this point. Nevertheless, his perseverance in overcoming adversity should serve him well throughout his college experience and throughout the rest of his life as well.