Girls Soccer Manager an Inspiration to All

For South Windsor High School girls soccer manager Grace Huot, the last eight months have been challenging, but also a learning experience.

On Feb. 1, while on the school ski trip to Jay Peak in Vermont, Huot had a terrible accident in which she suffered a compound fracture in her left femur, a broken knee, a pelvis that was fractured in two spots, a severed artery that required a bypass, and a severe concussion.

Nobody saw what happened, but she was found 30 feet of the trail, wrapped around a snowmaking pole.

“One of my friends caught a glimpse of one of my skis on the trail and he immediately stopped and he ran back up the mountain,” said Huot. “I was in shock so I don’t remember any of it. I don’t remember for five days after it. After that, there are some memories and I remember being in the hospital, but not much. The mind is an amazing thing. It protected me so much. I don’t remember the pain in the moment, I don’t remember the seconds leading up to it.”

After multiple surgeries and hard work to get back to her normal self, Huot is back at school full time – she missed six months after the accident – and is on track to graduate with her class. Once again, she is part of the soccer team.

Grace is much more than your average manager,” said coach Ed Duclos. “She’s an integral part of our team and program. Yes, she takes care of the game stats, but her presence on game day also includes: person in charge of pep talks, analysis of our play, plus much more. She’s also at practices (when she’s not at rehab) setting up drills and helping out in so many other ways. This is just a small snippet into what she means to us.”

Huot figure skated for 10 years and her freshman year, gave it up and took up lacrosse. It was her first time playing a team sport and she loved it. Huot’s good friend Danielle Karpiej plays on the soccer team and always talked about it. She suggested that Huot become a manager.

Karpiej taught her all about the game and Hout went from knowing nothing about it to learning the whole game.

“I love the game now,” she said. “I picked up on it easily because of Dani. She helped me so much. This year, I worked really hard to be able to come back to school full time. I didn’t want to miss being on the team. I had so much fun last year and I’d be really upset if I wasn’t able to be a part of it.”

Things are now back to normal and Huot is feeling more like herself – being with her friends, doing senior activities, and being with the team.

“I’m so happy I’m back at school,” she said. “I can’t do as much as I used to, but I’m trying.”

Huot loves being part of the team – and they love having her.

She’s absolutely wonderful, and such a big part of them team,” said Karpiej. “She’s always there to pick us up during tough games, and she gives the best pre-game speeches. Her positivity, enthusiasm, and selflessness bring so much to our team. She’s always cheering for us from the bench and makes sure to keep statistics. She comes to all of our practices and games, always making sure to set up drills and keep us on task. She’s a great teammate and an even better friend.”

Huot credits her family and friends with helping her out in her time of need.

“I definitely couldn’t have done it without my family and my friends,” she said. “They’ve been absolutely amazing supporters. I don’t even know how I could have done it without them.”

While the accident was a very scary thing and there have been challenges since, Huot has remained positive.

“I’m just so lucky to be where I am right now,” she said. “This was something that was a freak accident, but it’s made me the person I am today. I’ve met so many people because of it and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. It’s also made me realize I want to be a pediatric nurse. Nursing had always kinda been there, but after this, nurses I met have impacted my experience so much. I met amazing nurses and they took amazing care of me. [I want] to be able to give back after that and help kids after whatever struggles they’re going through. They just impacted my life an enormous amount in those short two weeks.”

Grace Huot has returned to the South Windsor girls soccer team this season. Photo courtesy of Grace Huot.

Grace Huot has returned to the South Windsor girls soccer team this season. Photo courtesy of Grace Huot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *