The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News 2

April 11, 2014

Against all odds, Palmer still playing sports

— Don’t tell Kennedy Palmer she can’t do something. The Athens Bible School senior refuses to let anything keep her from playing sports.

Despite her love for athletics, Palmer has been plagued by knee and joint pain since she can remember.

“We would go to the doctor and they would say, ‘Oh, you’ll grow out of it,’” remembers Palmer. “The older I got, the worse it got.”

Palmer finally went to a doctor in Birmingham who offered a solution. The ABS eighth-grader was sent to a surgeon to have a procedure called a Tibial Tubercle Osteotomy in both knees. The surgery cut through her quad muscle and screws were inserted in her tibia.

The five-hour surgeries were supposed to prevent her kneecaps from dislocating and correct arthritic changes behind the kneecap.

“It did help with the pain,” said Palmer. “But it didn’t change that my knees still go half-way out of socket. Basically, the longer I played the worse my legs would get. It was like fighting a battle you can’t win.”

Despite the pain, Palmer continued to play soccer for ABS as a freshman and sophomore. She returned to the field less than a year after her second surgery in the summer of her freshman year, but something was different.

“It wasn’t the same. I had to teach myself how to walk again,” said Palmer. “My running form was entirely messed up because my range of motion wasn’t the same. Then the screws starting coming out of my legs and I had to get those removed.”

Palmer tried everything she could to get back in playing shape. After conditioning with the team, she would go to a trainer afterward in an attempt to build up muscle.

Following two painful seasons playing varsity soccer, Palmer decided to hang it up. But that didn’t stop her from taking up another sport.

“It was difficult not playing (soccer),” said Palmer. “But I couldn’t not do anything, so I decided to play tennis. It’s definitely a lot easier. We don’t run as much as soccer. (The pain) is nothing comparatively.”

Although it's easier on the knees, Palmer admits she will never be as good in tennis as she was in soccer.

“I was awful,” laughed Palmer about her first experiences with tennis. “I’ve definitely improved. I accepted that I will never be as good at tennis as I was at soccer.”

As the Bryant-Jordan Award winner for 1A Region 8, Palmer received a scholarship, which she will use toward her education at UNA. If she is selected as the overall Class 1A winner, Palmer could receive $3,000 more in scholarship money.

Text Only
Local News 2
  • Local athletes lead North to soccer sweep

    East Limestone’s Dilan Sayer scored the opening goal and was named MVP of the boys game in a 3-0 win while Jordan Runion scored her team’s opening goal in a 3-1 for the girls.

    July 23, 2014

  • Davidson helps North tie

    She was one of only three North players to record a hit in the opener, which ended 3-3.
    Pitching duties were shared by Lexington’s Jessie Butler, Central-Florence’s Ashley Irons and Hartselle’s Jada Hayes along with eventual North MVP Maddie Moore of Winfield.

    July 23, 2014

  • Tedford, Potts take on the South in All-Star hoops game

    Stace Tedford has had a busy year at Athens. After leading the basketball team to a school-record 24 consecutive wins and regional finals appearance, he jumped straight into soccer season, where he took the varsity girls soccer team to another 5A state championship game.
    Wednesday, Tedford will be on the court again, coaching in the North-South All-Star basketball game.

    July 23, 2014

  • Strong local presence at state All-Star Week

    Some of the top rising seniors from the Athens-Limestone area will play in six of the games, beginning with softball and soccer games Tuesday.

    July 19, 2014

  • Chris Seibert -1996.jpg Before politics, Seibert played for the Tide

    A standout on West Limestone’s football team, Seibert’s road to Tuscaloosa wasn’t an easy one. Determined to play at the highest level, he attempted to join the Tide as a walk-on in fall 1993.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • State softball tournament begins in Athens today

    The three-day, double-elimination event begins at 6 tonight at the Athens Sportsplex.

    July 11, 2014

  • Run with goats Saturday

    Belle Chevre Creamery will hosts the first annual ‘Running with the Goats’ Saturday in downtown Elkmont. The event will feature a 10K, 5K and fun run on the certified Rails to Trails course.

    July 10, 2014

  • Softball team.JPG Athens softball team wins state

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • American Outlaws1.jpg American Outlaws: Locals band together to support U.S. soccer team

    One of the newest official chapters is in North Alabama where U.S. supporters have banded together to form American Outlaws Huntsville.

    July 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cody McCain 1.JPG Cantering forward: McCain charged with reviving Colts' program

    Cody McCain, 28, is the youngest head football coach in Limestone County, emerging from a pool of 107 applicants to become Clements' third coach in three years in early April.

    July 2, 2014 2 Photos



Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

     View Results
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee