Winona High Guard Finally Back On The Court After Long Wait
Paul Van Beek Reporting
To say that Winona High senior guard Chance Bechly(Beck-lee) has had some bad luck during his high school career would be a major understatement. Bechly is finally back on the basketball court starting at point guard for the Winhawks after missing nearly three years because of multiple knee injuries. All of Bechly’s bad luck started his freshman year. He was making an impact on the varsity team as a freshman when he suffered a torn ACL and partially torn meniscus during a game.
He had ACL reconstructive surgery and they also took out his meniscus because it couldn’t be fixed. He was cleared by the doctors six months later but one month after he was cleared he tore the same ACL playing kickball during phi(if) ed. He had a second ACL reconstructive surgery and had to sit out his sophomore season of basketball. Bechly was cleared six months later to play but a month after that he tore the same ACL for a third time in basketball practice. The injury happened before the season started so Bechley had to miss his entire junior season also.
Following his third ACL tear, he was told by doctors in Winona and La Crosse that he should give up competitive sports. Chance says that was the first time that it crossed his mind about not playing basketball again. Chance got a third opinion from a doctor from Green Bay and that doctor felt that he could come back if he had enough rest time. The doctor performed a bone graft surgery where he filled in the holes in his bone from his previous surgery. Bechly then spent the next three months walking with a torn ACL before the doctor performed a third reconstructive surgery on his knee. It’s been a long and grueling rehabilitation process for the last two plus years and Bechly says the thought of playing basketball again was what drove him to get back each time.
Even though Bechly has not been able to play for the past couple of years, he’s still be a big part of the basketball team. Bechley attended practices and games during both of the seasons he missed. Winona High head coach Rocky Peterson says the coaches and players are happy to see be able to get back on the court. Bechly is a tremendous ball handler and his presence allows fellow senior Will Leaf to move to shooting guard, which should open up more looks for the school’s single season three-point record holder. Bechly says his only goals for this season is to stay healthy and help his team on the court this season. Bechly had an impact already this season averaging 11 points per game in the first three games.
You can hear the full interview with Chance Bechly by listening to the Good Morning Show Friday morning on AM 1230 KWNO starting at about 8:15.
Tonight the Winona High boys’ play at home against Holmen.