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The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

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Mahin Schneider brings spirit back to soccer field after injury

Kaden Moubayed
After an injury, senior Mahin Schneider was able to recover just in time for his last U-High soccer season.

Fearlessly seizing the opportunity to take control of the ball, Mahin Schneider races into a hard tackle with his opponent, but instead of coming out victorious, he is left on the midfield, unable to move. After raising his hand for the trainer, his coaches and teammates surround him, carrying him off the field, worried if he would play again.

That was June 29, 2022. Seven months later, Mahin was able to return to the field. 

After suffering a tibial tubular fracture during a preseason game, Mahin, a central defensive midfielder, was able to recover through offseason club soccer and the futsal league — just in time for his senior U-High soccer season this fall. 

Despite having to watch from the sidelines during the 2022 season, Mahin’s head was always in the game, and once he returned, it has become obvious that facing such a serious injury has not put a dent in Mahin’s bravery. 

“Mahin has done a tremendous job of not playing with fear, of not allowing that to inhibit his ability to play with courage and confidence,” David Vadeboncoeur, assistant varsity soccer coach, said. 

From strengthening his knee in the gym to working with his physical therapist and meeting with the athletic trainer, Mahin aimed to get back on his feet as quickly as possible.

“I’m a pretty calm and patient person,” Mahin said, “so I think I was able to be really focused on my goals and have the mindset to get better and not be super emotional about it.”

While he was mostly able to avoid it, Mahin occasionally faces negativity.

“I always think, like, what if this didn’t happen, would I be a better player?” Mahin said. “But, you know, things happen, and you just have to get over them and I understand that.”

Mahin not only understands that accidents like these happen, but also does not allow them to affect his playing.

“Most people, after such a serious injury like that, become a little scared on the field,” teammate Luca Todorov said. “But that’s not happening with Mahin. He goes into tackles like he has no fear at all.”

Despite not being able to play for a whole season, Mahin’s skills have not disappointed his team.

Mr. Vadeboncoeur and head coach Josh Potter have recognized his talent and believe that even after his injury, Mahin has a chance at playing collegiate level soccer. 

Part of his smooth transition back to the sport might result from his dedication to the team. Even though he could not play last season, Mahin was always there. He set up drills, gathered balls, participated in team spirit days, and was always present at training, practice and games.

“It honestly felt he was still a member of the team without playing, just because of how involved he was at every practice while being injured,” teammate Danny Arohnson said. 

Along with his teammates, Mahin’s coaches were impressed by his commitment. 

“He was always incredibly dedicated but it wasn’t something that we as coaches had to prompt him to do,” Mr. Vadeboncoeur said. “It was just something that he’d intrinsically wanted to do, which was just being an incredible teammate and member of our program.”

Supporting the team also helped Mahin stay positive when faced with periods of isolation. 

“Just being able to be around the team, like the team aspect after I was able to walk again, it was really helpful,” Mahin said.

Mahin’s journey also inspired his other teammates.

“Seeing how Mahin recovered and came back the next year, and now is playing so well, makes me feel confident that if I did suffer an injury like Mahin’s I’d be able to come back like he did,” Danny said.

As Mahin reunites with his team on the field this season, he will not only remember the hardships he faced, but rather the growth and perspective he gained.

“It’s not just about scoring a ton of goals and bringing your team the championship,” Mahin said. “It’s made me a stronger person and taught me values about patience and community support.”

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About the Contributors
Jaya Alenghat, Reporter
Kaden Moubayed, Photographer
Kaden Moubayed is a first-year photojournalist and a member of the class of 2024. Outside of photojournalism, Kaden is a competitive soccer player and a member of the Maroon Key Society. Awards: 2023 Journalism Education Association National Student Media Contests, San Francisco convention: Superior, first-year photo

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