Hughes overcomes injury to run at Campbell

Broken ankle could have ended career
Jun. 19, 2013 @ 10:01 AM

When Anthony Hughes broke his foot four games into Ledford’s basketball season, the pain of seeing his senior season end was tough to endure. That pain paled in comparison, though, to the potential impact it could have on his future plans.

Just before the start of basketball, Hughes — a decorated athlete in cross country and track — had given a verbal commitment to run for Campbell University. In a split second during practice, the senior admits his hopes of running for the Fighting Camels were surely dashed with the foot injury.

“I had an offer and everything was going well,” said Hughes. “Then I broke my foot and didn’t know what to expect. When I found out my foot was broken, everything just stopped.”

Some positive news came after having the foot checked out.

“I remember the technician telling me I would have surgery and be able to run again. I gave her a huge hug,” he said.

But Hughes knew there was a difficult phone call that had to be made. Though he would be able to run again, Hughes was unsure if Campbell’s coach would still be interested given the latest developments. It was a nervous few seconds while he dialed the number.

“I called him about the injury and that was probably the scariest phone call I’ve had to make,” Hughes said. “Here I had this offer and I was committed and everything was good. I was just trying to fulfill a high school passion and get through the season healthy and help the team. Here I am having to call him, uncertain about how he would respond to this news.”

All the hard work he had put in was suddenly hanging on the opinion of the Campbell coach. After spilling the beans, Hughes did not have to wait long for a response.

“He took it really well,” said Hughes. “We spent a minute talking about the injury and everything after that was positive about the future of the program.”

Hughes eventually put the agreement in writing, signing a letter of intent to run for the Fighting Camels.

Campbell will be getting an athlete with a long list of achievements and recognition. Hughes made the Mid-Piedmont All-Conference team all four years in cross country, winning the conference his last three. He was an all-region and all-state performer his junior and senior year, and finished fifth in the state at the 3-A level last fall.

Still not 100 percent quite yet, Hughes is training to get his full strength and conditioning back. He is anxious to get on campus and begin college competition. He will run cross country in the fall, followed by indoor track in the winter and outdoor track in the spring.

“I knew I wanted to go to Campbell and that I wanted to run there,” said Hughes. “I am ready.”