SHERIDAN — Some athletes, when they tear their ACL, twice, they will give up on the dream of playing at the collegiate level. Others, like Sheridan Broncs track star Aaron Campbell, take the challenge and cross the finish line.
Campbell signed a National Letter of Intent on Thursday afternoon at Sheridan High School to continue his athletic career at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Campbell plans to study electrical or computer engineering.
Campbell met the school’s track coaches and was impressed by how much they care about academics.
“I’m going there to learn first and compete second,” Campbell said.
On April 22, Campbell prequalified for state in the 110-meter hurdles with a 15.38 second run. He hopes to qualify in as many events as possible for state without any injuries.
“It is because of people like Aaron, that Sheridan has a successful rate of players continuing on to collegiate level,” SHS track coach Art Baures said.
Campbell said he watches a lot of videos on professional hurdlers and jumpers to learn better form.
“He just honestly inspires me everyday with his perseverance and determination,” his mother, Kelli Campbell, said. “I think a lot of people would have given up on their dreams to run track at college given the barriers that Aaron faced. He never gave up even when it was a physical and emotional battle.”
Campbell tore his ACL twice, once his freshman year and then again his sophomore year.
“It’s one thing to say ‘I want to compete at the collegiate level,’ and quite another to accomplish it with all the set backs that Aaron went through,” Baures said. “Sometimes it’s easy to get down and even angry, but with Aaron, he always maintained his self-composure, focus and the ability to work with his teammates, being supportive and positive. Those are all the qualities in an athlete that you want. It is really amazing from a coach’s standpoint to see how Aaron visualized what he wanted to do, not getting much practice time, and went out and executed those goals. That is very impressive.”
It just amazes me to see what he can do without going through multitude of practices.”