DICKSON — Sometimes a persons passion can overcome the most difficult circumstances, even immense pain.

DICKSON — Sometimes a persons passion can overcome the most difficult circumstances, even immense pain. 

Dickson’s Shanna McKown knows all about this, as she experienced it first hand this softball season.

Or more specifically, her shoulder did.

McKown played the entire fast pitch season with a torn labrum in her shoulder, before pushing it past the limit in slow pitch season to the point she had to be shut down before further damage occurred.

Shanna McKnown is the 2019 Glenn Polk Autoplex Fighting Heart Award winner for the Best of the Arbuckles Preps. 

“Honestly my reaction was very shocked and surprised,” McKown said. “I’m never one to say that I deserve something, because I always feel like there’s someone more deserving. But I am very thankful for this honor because I have gone through so many ups and downs with my knee and my shoulder so this really does mean a lot to me.”

“When I had knee surgery, I was very discouraged and worried about if I could get back to 100 percent,” McKown said. “Coach (Kristin) Williams coming in really helped me, and she was able to get my mental strength up 200 percent with as much running as we did. I knew that if my teammates saw me pushing through my pain, it would inspire them to do the same.” 

Coming into the season, McKown was already familiar with fighting through pain as she did it her junior year with a knee injury which required surgery in the offseason.

Despite all of her pain though, it was never about what the Lady Comets senior wanted personally, but it always came down to what she could do for her team to make them better. 

“Shanna earned this award without a doubt,” Dickson coach Kristin Williams said. “She worked hard from the very beginning, and overcame so much. It says a lot about her character that she would sacrifice so much for her team and for me to make us better.”

“Having Shanna as a leader on our team this season was awesome,” Williams added. “We’re really going to miss her because she set the bar so high. The way she would sacrifice her body for the team shows how much mental toughness she has, and I believe to get anywhere in life you have to have a certain amount of mental strength. I’m super proud of her and we’re really going to miss her.”

This season, Dickson barely missed out on the regional tournament as they finished fifth in district 3A-2, just one game outside of a playoff berth. The Lady Comets did finish above .500 though with a 16-14 overall record.

As for McKown, she finished with 67 strikeouts on the mound with just 10 walks and totaled a 2.1 ERA for the season. She also had a .906 fielding percentage, along with a .297 batting average at the plate which included 19 hits for the season. 

McKown was rewarded though for her hard work and performance during the season, as she was named to the 2018-19 All-Ardmoreite fast pitch softball team, making her a two-time member of the team as she made the squad in 2017-18 as well. 

McKown was also awarded the Fighting Heart award this season at the Dickson High School softball banquet by none other than her coach.

“Coach Williams gave me the tough love approach, and I knew she believed in me,” McKown said. “Jadyn (McKenzie) was my right hand on the field. When she would feel pain I would feel it. She’s one of the best players I’ve ever gotten to be a teammate with, and I’m grateful for her.”

But it wasn’t until slow pitch season that McKown pushed herself over the edge.

True to her nature, McKown threw caution to the wind during a routine game and dove for a ball to make a play for her team. 

But, after then realizing what she had done in the moment, McKown just missed making a diving catch, landing awkwardly, effectively ending her slow pitch season. 

“Having Shanna as a teammate meant everything to me,” Dickson senior Jaydn McKenzie said. “I know I couldn’t have been the same player without her. She was in so much pain all the time and that hurt me emotionally. I’m so proud of her though because of how she fought through so much.”

“I didn’t think she would be able to come back from her knee surgery, because they did a lot,” McKenzie added. “But she did, and she proved all of us wrong. Shanna is my best friend, and we’ve had our ups and downs. She’s one of the best pitchers Dickson has ever seen, and I couldn’t have asked for anyone more inspiring to share my senior season with than her.”

As for the future, softball in college is on hold for now when it comes to McKown as she will be attending Rose State College in Midwest City.

“I feel like everyone who has been in my life has impacted me,” McKown said. “I’ve never really taken the time to realize how much of an impact I’ve had on other people. But I can see that I probably have impacted some peoples lives because of all the adversity I faced and all the pain I fought through.”

“Pain is pain and I know that it hurts,” McKown said. “My advice to the younger girls would be to take care of yourselves and don’t be afraid to do therapy to keep yourself in shape. Having a good support system also helps as well. I hope people can read my story and feel inspired to fight through.”