As he dove back toward the base he knew something was wrong. He couldn’t feel his arm. The thought ran through his head, Oh know not again.
It was the regional baseball playoff game and Kobe Budder had dove back to second base. He was a little late and his hand hit the opposing players shin. He knew it was going to be good.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be good,” said Budder.
Budder, a senior at Jay, broke his hand, his second injury of his junior year. Last September, he broke his ankle in the Bulldogs second football game of the season against Gravette.
“When broke my ankle I was on defense and I was rushing a guy. He had a hold of my shoulder pad and I was pushing him back. I felt something hit my ankle and I knew immediately my leg didn’t feel right,” said Budder.
Budder was on the other side of the football field so the coaches didn’t know he injured himself. Finally they took him out after two more plays.
“The coach didn’t see me at first but they finally pulled me out. I thought I had just hurt my ankle and didn’t realize I had broken it at first,” said Budder. “So they got Coach Warren Kirk’s wife (Calin) down there who is a doctor. She looked at it and said it might be broken. I just thought that might not be good.”
Budder had been hit many times over his career but never injured.
“I felt like it should happen. I get hit on the field all the time and it felt like any other hit. I just got hit in the right spot to break my ankle,” said Budder.
The injury left Budder sidelined for the remainder of the football season. He got released just two weeks into the start of basketball.
“When I got back and was released to play basketball it was real hard to move on it with the brace. It was really hard to get into the basketball season like that. I was also out of shape because I hadn’t been able to do anything for so long,” Budder said. “Took me to almost the end of basketball season to where I could move around with no problems. And start going at full strength. So it not only messed up my football season but my basketball season as well.”
Baseball season came along and went very well until that game in May.
“Baseball was going good then I broke my hand the second to last game of the season. Until then I was hitting pretty well and having a good season,” Budder said.
When the baseball injury happened it was another play with an unexpected inning.
“I got to far of a lead on second base and didn’t hear coach tell me to get back in time. So when I dove my hand hit the other players shin. When it happened I couldn’t feel my arm or anything. I thought this couldn’t be happening again. I just thought this feels worst than when I hurt my ankle,” said Budder.
He is now good to go as he describes it. He has had to work extra hard to get himself back to where he can play.
“I have had work extra hard to get back to where I feel I am at my old self, or maybe hopefully better,” Budder said.
But sitting out helped him in one other aspect of his playing sports.
“I got to sit and watch in all my sports and it has helped in different ways. When we are going over plays in football now I can see how things are happening and I can go to the play faster. I can just react and not have to think about what I am going to do.
I got to watch and see what I was supposed to do in every position I play. It has helped me with the mental game,” said Budder.
Budder is excited for all the sports he plays in.
“Football we have a lot of seniors that will be able to help. With us being a senior group it will put us at an advantage since a lot of the other teams graduated a lot of seniors last year. We just need more depth on the team,” said Budder. “We are just going to out and go hard every play and every game. From a mental stand point I have been just trying to focus on my job so if I mess up I can figure out what I did wrong and make sure I work to not let that happen again.”
To get prepared for his senior seasons Budder has been running and lifting in basketball and football and his favorite past time.
“I swim a lot so I think that helps me a lot to,” Budder said.
He is looking forward to basketball as well with all the returning players.
“If we don’t get any injuries I think we could have a great season in basketball,” said Budder.
The same when baseball comes around.
“We have so many seniors and starting players coming back. It is going to be great to have that much experience,” Budder said.
With his senior season approaching he knows there isn’t a whole lot he can do to prevent what happened to him last year.
“Both of my injuries were a rare thing of it happening. I really can’t go out and do anything different. On both instances there wasn’t much I could have done. I have to just out and give it everything I can,” Budder said.
Budder is known as an extremely hard worker.
“What really gets me inspired is when I see all the guys that have been doing this since they were young trying so hard. I have to go try harder to keep myself up there,” Budder said.
But it was a couple of things over the years that have made him into the athlete he is today.
“I didn’t start in little league football and I still remember how that felt. So it has always made me work harder to get better. I started in football when I got in junior high but I wasn’t a real fan of the sports. It was my freshman year I saw how hard my teammates were going and I needed to step up and work hard also or I was going to be left behind,” said Budder.
Each one of his coaches has played a key role in his athletic career in their respective sport.
“Coach Kirk was my linebackers coach my sophomore season. I was a lineman before that. It was my first time playing that position at all. He took it real slow with me and showed me what I needed to do. That helped me a lot. He has shown how the game actually is played,” said Budder.
Same goes for basketball.
“Coach (Terry) Sweeney has helped me in basketball on when I mess up he calls me out and shows me how to fix it. I would rather people be straight forward with me. It doesn’t bother me to be yelled at. I just want to fix it or deal with it. Whichever is appropriate at the time. I don’t understand those that get mad over something like that. It is part of the game and part of life,” Budder said.
And baseball as well.
“Coach (Mike) Moore had taught me every position I have played in baseball. He has helped me understand the game a lot better. I have been moved around a lot. This last year he moved me to outfield where I can use my speed in that position,” Budder said.
The spotlight is hardly on him and you won’t see his name high in the stat book. He does the little things well and that is fine with him.
“I am just one of those guys that is a team player. I really don’t care how many points I score in a game. Sometimes I may score ten points in a game and some times I don’t score at all. It doesn’t matter as long as the team is doing good. If one of my teammates gets 30 points and I get five rebounds or a steal I am great as long as we play well as a team. It is about the team, not about me,” Budder said.
He is not only a hard worker on the field but in the classroom as well. This summer he got to go to boys state.
“They talked to us about Oklahoma history and about government and that was a lot of fun. We got to run our own little government and we were trying to pass bills. But everyone got made at each other we didn’t get a lot accomplished. I still had a broken hand so I couldn’t do a lot of the activities. I would recommend anyone that has a chance to go,” Budder said.
Budder has hopes to play sports on the next level but realizes his size may put some limitations on that.
“The sport I would hope to play in college would be baseball. My size doesn’t help me to play in football and basketball on the next level. But I hope to have shot to continue my career that sport,” said Budder.
Budder at this point has no idea what he wants to do in the future yet.
“I have no idea what I would want to do for a job right now. Most of my life has been sports. If I figure something out my senior year that would be great or I might have to wait until I go to college,” Budder said.
His family has been very supportive during his high school career.
“I get text from my dad all the time telling me to continue to work harder and he is proud of me. That helps me realize that I have that side of my family supporting me. Same with my mom and her family they are always there for me. Anything I need she is always there for me. Same for her family as well. I really have a lot of support from both sides of my family,” Budder said.
In his spare time he likes to play video games and spend time with his dad’s family at in Kenwood playing volleyball and swimming.
“We kind of have our own little part of the creek,” Budder said. “Other than sports that is pretty much all I do.”
But as his senior year begins he has one simple hope for this season.
“No more injuries I just want to stay healthy and enjoy my senior season,” Budder said.