Drury's Clay Engel Leads Team After Near-Death Experience

SPRINGFIELD, Mo--Drury baseball player Clay Engel has already shown his will to survive, and now he's displaying his determination to recover. 

"I started getting back on the field around September, I was doing a lot of therapy for my neck. I just kind of stuck with it, and Erin and the staff were great and helped me out. Once January and February and the spring rolled around I was 100 percent ready to go," said Clay Engel. 

It's been less than a year since Engel's hiking accident where he suffered life threatening injuries, including a broken neck.

"In November he considered stepping aside and not playing anymore, actually. And then decided this is what he wanted to do, he wanted to stay with it and continue to plug away with it. We are happy he did that, we are happy he is having success and happy he is here," said coach Scott Nasby. 

It was undoubtedly a life-altering event, and ultimately Engel realized in life you have to do the things that bring you joy. For him that means playing baseball. 

"All of it, the guys the coaches, I love it. To be able to go back to what I consider normal life as a college athlete here at Drury, it was just really cool to do that with a new perspective to enjoy life.  Life is a gift but it's kind of your choice on what to do with it. It's cool to be able to do this with all my effort again," said Engel. 


"I'm just giving it my best, I'm really grateful I feel better than I did last year. I feel like I've improved and I feel stronger, faster. I feel great, it's pretty awesome," said Engel. 

For Engel, it's not just for the love of the game, it's for the love of life. 

In Springfield, Megan Rice, KOLR 10 Sports. Ozarks First. 

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