"Everybody goes through that moment like I don't deserve to be here I'm not good enough. then whenever you just see that that one kid is doubting themselves, you're like you're just as good as me or even better. You've got this."
Cecilia's Tylie Johnson loves to lead by words and actions. As the lady bulldogs ace pitcher, she gets to display both every week.
"Everybody thinks it's like a lot of pressure," Johnson explained. "But honestly, I like kind of being in control of the game. Because I know like if I'm messing up, I can fix it and help back up my team and everything. I just like being able to have their back and they have mine."
This season, Johnson helped lift Cecilia to an 8 seed in the Class 4A playoffs and their first quarterfinals appearance since 2007. These moments as a senior she'll never take for granted, because of what she had to overcome as a junior.
"I had a cyst on my tailbone that I had to get surgically removed," Johnson described. "So I was out for six months. So I've just recently started playing softball again."
Johnson had the surgery to remove the cyst on March 5th, 2021. This forced her to miss her entire junior season, after having the previous year canceled due to the pandemic.
"When they said surgery, I started crying." Johnson expressed. "I was like okay, my life is over, I can't do nothing. And then they were like, it's gonna be eight weeks and that's it. I was like, Okay, I'll be back ready for softball. And then they started going longer and longer and then eight weeks turned to six months. I just felt kind of like useless. Like I couldn't do anything."
Johnson's active lifestyle made the rehab process tough mentally, but it was her teammates that took charge when she needed it the most.
"One of my first softball games that I came back to, everybody came running gave me a hug." Johnson recalled. I was just like, wow, like I missed this."
"I think she was laying on our couch on her stomach for I don't know how many months," Cecilia Head Coach Cody Champagne added. "By herself or with her family but not around her teammates. So I think when she walked over here and everybody was excited to see her, that's big for a kid."
Johnson is in the running for valedictorian at Cecilia, and one day she plans to become a psychiatrist. That way, she can continue to pay it forward, to those that need encouragement.
"I suffer from anxiety," Johnson explained. "I know how hard it is and some people are like, 'Oh, you're just you're over exaggerating. Anxiety isn't nothing.' But it's just, I know, if someone was having the same issues as me they would want someone else to have their back and be like, I'm not crazy. It's not all in my head. So I just want to help people like that."
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