The Lombardi Trophy. The Stanley Cup. The Cy Young Award. The Becca Snee Courage Award. Nearly everyone recognizes the first three. The fourth one, however, would have most fans scratching their heads. That is unless they have met the award’s namesake.
Becca Snee ’16 was being recruited to play soccer at Bloomsburg in spring 2011 when she injured her left knee — her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL) and medial meniscus — requiring multiple surgeries. Then, while undergoing physical therapy, she injured the lateral meniscus in her healthy leg and required even more surgery. With seven screws and three staples in her leg — and a special medical card to get through airport security — Snee was sidelined indefinitely.
“The initial physical therapy started about a week after my first procedure. I lost about 20 pounds and gaining muscle back seemed impossible,” says Snee, a Northumberland resident. “My physical therapy was constant most of the way through until my fifth year of eligibility at Bloomsburg. And it was frustrating not being able to play after having the game be a big part of my life.”
With the consent of Paul Mark Huckett, head coach in 2011; Stephanie Anderson, head coach from 2012 to 2014; and current head coach Matt Haney, Snee helped the team as much as possible, filming games or taking notes at practice. She finally was cleared to play in the spring season of 2015.
“You can’t imagine how many times I prayed before and after each practice and scrimmage that I’d come out injury-free,” Snee continues. “I was so emotional Coach Haney had to pull me aside and tell me to relax and take a deep breath.”
In fall 2015 Snee, and what she calls her “clunky knee brace,” appeared in 10 games. “It was absolutely exhilarating being back on the field, even as an almost completely new type of player. We had new white jerseys, so it was like a clean slate all around for me. I remember thanking coach after that first game because, even if I never played again, I was now able to say I played a game in a Bloomsburg University jersey, my goal for five years.”
Haney was touched by Snee’s expression of gratitude after her first game. “Becca wrote me one of the greatest emails I have received as a coach, expressing what it meant to actually don the Husky uniform and play in a meaningful match,” says Haney. “Her hard work in the classroom, training room and, finally, on the field made me realize even more how special college athletics can be to a young person. Therefore, I decided to institute an award in her name.”
Announced at the team banquet, Haney said the award recognizes more than overcoming injuries. It will be presented annually to the player who most exemplifies the courage and dedication Becca Snee displayed throughout her time at BU. •
—By Tom McGuire,
Sports Information Director