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Ouachita Stories


From the “Ouachitonian”: Brandon Matros

Brandon MatrosMarch 18, 2020 - Addy Goodman

Previously published in the 2019 Ouachitonian yearbook

Brandon Matros stood on the pitching mound, a familiar glove and ball in hand, running through the quick motions of throwing the ball smoothly into the catcher’s mitt. Matros, a junior finance major from Arkadelphia and pitcher for the Tigers, was thankful he was still playing the game he had known and loved since his earliest days.

Matros began his baseball journey in Little League at the young age of five. Playing alongside a distinct circle of friends, Matros learned the ins and outs of the game, preparing himself to play on the travelers’ team. It was on this team, through the constant traveling, practicing and playing together, Matros developed a sense of community playing baseball, building a foundation for a career in the sport.

As Matros transitioned into playing varsity baseball for the Arkadelphia Badgers, this sense of community didn’t leave. When he joined the team as a freshman, he joined alongside his Little League teammates, his brother John Franklin and friends and was coached by his father.

“I had been around the baseball team the whole time because the team was a family thing,” said Matros. “I was at the field just as much as they were, so when I really started playing with them, it was just a lot of fun.”

As a pitcher and first baseman for the Badgers, Matros helped bring home two state championships, one first-runner up season and a trip to the semi-final game. He also played on the football team. During his high school career, however, Matros encountered a curve ball he didn’t expect.

“I had started pitching and playing a lot more, as well as playing football,” said Matros. “Towards the end of my freshman year, I started having pain in my hip after I pitched. I never really liked being injured, so I wouldn’t tell anybody about it. I played it off. I kept being really active, and then I started limping after every game or practice.

“About halfway through sophomore football season, I stopped playing because it hurt so bad,” said Matros. “I knew something was wrong.”

During the summer after his sophomore year, Matros and his family traveled to Dallas, Texas, where he underwent intensive surgery to treat his hip dysplasia, a medical condition where the hip socket doesn’t fully cover the ball portion of the upper thigh bone and becomes dislocated.

“A lot of people have [hip dysplasia] and don’t know it because they aren’t as active as I am,” said Matros. “So people could have it their whole life and maybe just have a hip replacement later in their life. But the surgery I had was preventative.”

Matros’ recovery after a surgery of this extent was slow. Matros was not released to do physical activity until almost six months after the procedure. In the months leading to his release, Matros was bedridden for the first few weeks, then in a wheelchair and crutches, and later he worked his way through physical therapy. After being cleared to pursue the active life he’d led beforehand, Matros started running and building up strength in a successful attempt to return to the baseball field by the next season.

Playing for the Tigers now five years later, Matros still sees evidence of his surgery.

“I think about it every day,” said Matros. “Like I can’t pick this leg up and put on a sock like I can the other leg. Little things. But it’s been five years, and I think I’m doing pretty good.”