Shober shocks social media with Courtknee


Photo by Eli Hausman

Shober tore her ACL after one of her soccer games. She is currently recovering but has stayed positive throughout it all.

Story by Elise Palmer, Features Editor

In mid October, senior Emma Anderson received a strange Instagram notification on her phone: “@courtkneebmariknee3 has requested to follow you”. After looking at the profile, she realized the mastermind behind the screen was her friend and soccer teammate, junior Maddie Shober.

“I thought ‘this is so Maddie’,” Anderson said. “Maddie is super positive all of the time, so her making an account to try and stay positive through her injuries is definitely something she would do.”

When lunging for a 50/50 ball during a recreational soccer match, Shober collided with her opponent and injured her knee.

After a visit to the trainer’s office, several doctor appointments and a MRI, Shober discovered that she had torn her ACL and lateral meniscus in her right knee.

Shober has played for the East Meck varsity girls soccer team for the past two seasons, but due to her recent injury, she will miss the 2019 season.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Shober said. “I was so excited for this season, and then it felt like it was all ripped away from me. […] I had all of these goals and now they’ll have to wait till next season.”

Not only is Shober devastated, but many of her teammates are too, like senior Chanda Gurung.

“Maddie is very resilient and is a kind-hearted, strong teammate,” Gurung said. “She never stops working, even if it hurts. I will definitely miss her Bambi runs.”

Anderson shares a similar sentiment.

“She perseveres and tries really hard, no matter what the circumstance is,” Anderson said. “I’m going to miss her playing on the side with me, […] we’ve learned how to trust each other on the field.”

Even with the continuous support of her teammates, Shober still found herself in a dark place following her injury.

“I felt guilt and disappointment,” Shober said. “I was ashamed, and I kept thinking to myself ‘It’s just an ACL tear. You should be fine. You shouldn’t still be upset three weeks later.’ But I was, and I started to feel like there was something wrong with me because I couldn’t seem to move past the devastation of it.”

Shober knew she needed some positivity in her life, so she decided to look for others experiencing similar injuries. In doing this, she stumbled upon a few Instagram accounts, dedicated to torn ACLs. Many of the accounts featured names for their knees, which inspired Shober to name her own.

She put up 16 name options on her personal Instagram story, and had her followers vote for their favorite one. In the end, Shober decided on ‘Courtknee Bartholomew Mariknee the Third’, in part, taking after history teacher Rebecca Marini.

A few days later, Shober decided to introduce Courtknee to the world of social media. She created an Instagram account (@courtkneebmariknee3), and requested to follow many of her friends.

Courtknee now has more than 70 followers, and Shober makes sure to post knee updates multiple times a week. Shober had surgery on Nov. 21, and continues to update her followers on her progress.

“It is an outlet for me to document my journey of healing,” Shober said. “It holds me accountable to share what I do each day.”

Though the Instagram account for Courtknee may seem silly to some, many of Shober’s teammates have seen the difference it’s making in her life.

“I honestly think the [Instagram account] is helping her cope,” Gurung said. “She understands that other people might not understand how she’s feeling and what she’s going through, so she utilizes her Instagram to advocate for her injury and share the positive things that she’s doing.”

Shober agrees with Gurung, and believes that the Instagram account has aided in her healing process.

Along with serving as a coping mechanism, Shober also hopes that Courtknee can give people a few laughs, but also encourage them in whatever they might be going through.

“I want people to know that it’s okay to not be okay and struggle and feel heartbroken, but be strong enough to not let that define you,” Shober said. “You have to keep pushing even though it’s hard and grow.”