From injury to inspiration
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 by Tony Adams
Larson Hale has never been a young man to give up his dreams.
The freshman Belton Tigers player is just like any other boy in Central Texas. He loves playing baseball and plays for local select teams in his summers. This young man is a overcoming the near impossible in his quest making Belton's junior varsity red squad: a broken back.
Larson, like many individuals, participated in core training to stay in game-ready shape. Tragedy struck when he was 13 years old, when he fractured his L5 vertebrae on both sides during a training session.
"He is a great kid and loves baseball," said Laurie Hale, his mother. "We took him to Scott and White and St Luke's Hospital in Houston for his rehabilitation. He was out of all sports for nine months and had to wear a back brace and use bone stimulator at night."
Following his release by his physician after a complete healing, he began a four-month rehabiliation at Xplosive U training in Belton with Blaine and Adam. Being the battler he is, he not only strengthened his back, he became faster and stronger. Last July, Larson started working with former major leaguer Donnie Sadler up in Valley Mills and played on his 16U select major baseball team called the Waco Pride. Diminutive in stature, only 5-4, he became one of the top pitchers and played shortstop when he was not on the mound.
Last October, Larson tried out for the Stars and Stripes World Championships. Being one of the top performers, he was selected to play for the 16U team as a 15-year old.
In December, he went to Kissimmee, Florida, he participated as a pitcher and shortstop at the Houston Astros spring training complex. On a team comprised of players from all over the United States, the team earned second place in the world championship tournament.
Larson tried out for the Belton High School, and made the team Junior Varsity Red Team, which consists of mostly 10th and 11th graders. He may be short in stature, but long on talent and upside.
"He's a great kid," said Belton varsity head coach Eddie Cornblum. "He's a baseball-minded kid. His passion in this game and has a lot of great work ethic behind him. Fundamentally sound and takes the time to fundamentally hone his craft. He's a good kid. We like him a lot as well as all of these kids coming up into the program and hopefully he's a kid that can help us win a lot of games."
This upcoming summer, Larson has been invited to play in the Dominican Republic for two weeks at an elite baseball camp. The camp, a type of exchange student camp of sorts, is made up of players from across the US. Following the camp, it's off to Houston and pitchers boot camp.