By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It wasn’t the year that former Lebanon soccer player Alyssa Hoffman had hoped for with the Chemeketa Community College Women’s Soccer team last Fall. Six games into her season, the former Warrior and eventual North Marion-grad back in 2020, tore her ACL and had sidelined Hoffman for the remainder of the season.
“It was a crazy experience. I think when you’ve done something for years and years, you just kind of take it for granted. But once you’re able to do something at all anymore, it’s just really hard.” Hoffman described being on the sidelines.
For Hoffman, the four years playing for the Warriors before transferring up to North Marion to finish out the year after the season her senior year, she’s been easing her way back into the feel of things as she awaits full clearance for contact drills with the season right around the corner.
On Tuesday, Hoffman had moments in which the big, bulky knee brace was on. During other moments, the brace was off with it becoming part of her normal practice routine.
“It’s really exciting, it’s really intimidating. But it’s really exciting,” Hoffman said. “The knee brace is a need, but small drills like this I can take it off. It’s just a little harder to play with it on because I’m not used to playing with something weighing me down or things like that. It’s definitely nice to know that, if I take it off I can do somethings by feel,”
Hoffman was one of two athlete’s in the gym, the Storm having to go inside due to the on-going excessive heat outdoors Tuesday, The other being 2021 South Salem-grad Abril Dimas-Camacho.
Dimas-Camacho tore her ACL during her senior year with the Saxon and wasn’t able to close out her prep career as she would’ve hoped for as South Salem went 9-2-1 on the year during the six-week Spring season that year. And after some time away she decided to come back out after second-year Chemeketa Head Coach Steve Elmore persuade the former Saxon to come on out.
“Steve was the one who kept pushing me to go to the college-level because I didn’t want to. But once I started to attend here, I started to see the program as a whole and I wanted to get back into Soccer as a whole. I tore my ACL my senior year…It wasn’t really physical contact but my leg gave out. We both went for the ball and I covered and it was this one that gave out,” described Dimas-Camacho, pointing to her leg brace.
Being back has been a big sigh of relief she points. It has helped release a lot of stress for her as Dimas-Camacho slowly knocks off the rust for the upcoming season.
“It really reduces a lot of stress that I had before. It feels good to be back because it’s been over a year since I’ve touched a ball or done any physical contact, so it’s been a release for me,” said Dimas-Camacho.
Now that the season is right around the corner, the first ‘official’ practice being August 1 as Tuesday’s workout was optional, Hoffman and Dimas-Camacho joined several of their teammates in preparation for the long haul ahead in the NWAC South Region and the season ahead. The Storm open the season August 9 with an exhibition bout with Blue Mountain at Blue Mountain Community College with their first official game on August 10 against Walla Walla.
Chemeketa’s first home game will be September 24 when they host Lane Community College.