Senior plays varsity lacrosse after almost 4 years of injury


By Tanisha Agrawal and Emily Scheer, Co-Sports Editor and Staff Reporter

Senior Boden Miller was paralyzed from his neck down as a freshman and was told he would never walk again. But against all odds, he can not only walk now, but also earned a spot to play on the varsity lacrosse team.

“It (lacrosse) was a big part of me prior to my injury. So to be able to finally get some normalcy and return to the sport has helped me a bunch with friends and social aspects, but also just my well-being overall,” Miller said.

In 2019, Miller was playing catch on a trampoline and fell. He severely injured his neck and spinal cord, shattering his C4 and C5 vertebrae. Miller underwent a spine surgery at Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania, and several operations would follow to help Miller regain movement in his upper and lower body. Afterward, he participated in intensive physical therapy at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital and Bryn Mawr Outpatient. Miller eventually made a full recovery and the varsity lacrosse team selected him as a midfielder this year.

Last summer, Miller informed lacrosse coach Robert Bush that he was allowed to play lacrosse again. Bush, like many others, never thought Miller would be able to play again, but he awaited a surprise, and Miller did not fail to impress him.

“Bode’s personality is infectious. He is one of the easiest players to coach and is appreciative of everything he has and what he has been through. His perspective on life is absolutely amazing,” Bush said.

Senior Drew Merschel has known Miller since he was 2 years old and plays alongside him. Having witnessed the recovery process, he finds Miller’s perseverance inspiring.

“He’s such a hard-working person that he fully learned how to walk, talk and just live life again. And to learn all that when you’re 16 years old is one of the hardest things to do as a teenager in high school,” Merschel said. “So I think he’s one of the hardest working kids I’ve ever met.”

Miller has been playing lacrosse since he was in kindergarten but the injury caused a three-year hiatus. Miller found keeping up with the speed and the flow of the game again challenging. Fortunately, he had the support of his teammates as he rediscovered the sport.

“They’re very supportive. They’re just trying to help me the best I can. But having the team is huge. It makes me feel way more invited and comfortable with being on it,” Miller said.

Through the past four years, Miller’s life has had ups and downs, but he made it through. Recently, he received the George Kruse award — named for a NCAA Division II Lacrosse player and coach who died in a car crash — for demonstrating resilience and excellence.

“I am so honored to be recognized for my hard work and fight to be back,” said Miller. “A lot of it is understanding you might not be able to go back this season or even next season. But if you keep the goal and you keep hope alive within your recovery, it definitely helps your mental attitude.”

Tanisha Agrawal can be reached at [email protected].

Emily Scheer can be reached at [email protected].