High school sports introduce student-athletes to situational adversity that is completely unique. In Cayden Devine’s case, that adversity is injury.
Devine is a three-sport athlete at Mercer County Senior High School, participating in football, basketball and baseball.
As a freshman, Devine batted .338 with 12 RBI while pitching in six games and earning a 2.80 ERA. In the 2019 Region 12 tournament, he suffered a torn UCL, an inner elbow injury that is a common occurrence with baseball players. Devine was out of play for nine months missing most of the Titans 2019 football season.
Devine was a ball hawk for the Titans on the football field this past fall. A key member of a Titan defensive backfield that intercepted 19 passes over the course of 9 games, the most prolific of any Class 3A school. Devine intercepted five passes of his own in 2020, tied for most on the team with Aaron Caton and most in the entirety of Class 3A, while also making 31 tackles and one for a loss. Near the end of the Titans’ final game, Devine suffered a torn ACL, sidelining him for an expected nine months. The injury forces Devine to miss his junior basketball and baseball seasons, a season after Covid-19 took away his sophomore baseball season. Devine has experienced the lows of painful injury and the highs of success during his time as a Titan.
“It really sucks at first, having to watch your team play without you,” said Devine, but reaching new lows can bring the best out of some. “It has made me stronger both mentally and physically knowing I’m at my lowest and getting back to my strongest through recovery,” said Devine.
Some people believe that sports are unnecessarily physical and unsafe for teenagers to be playing, but high school athletics can bring so much joy to the lives of the student-athletes that participate.
“There was not a doubt in my mind, I was getting back to the field in no time. I have no regrets about playing sports and one of the best decisions I’ve made is playing football freshman year,” said Devine. “I can’t express how blessed I am to be able to play for my school and my county.”