Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Concussion, the ultimate heartache

  1. #1

    Default Concussion, the ultimate heartache

    I was encouraged to post about this by Shanghai Mule several months ago and just could not do it at the time.

    As I watched my son play his senior year of High School football it was apparent he had a gift for our small 3A school. He played RT and tackle on defense, our school ran the triple option a lot and 70 some odd percent of the time it went behind my boy. Our team made it to the District Championship and was defeated by one of the finest and most well coached teams around. My son earned all conference, all district and all state honors as RT for that year. Halfway through the season, 2 of his coaches stopped my wife and I after a game and told us that they thought our son had what it took to play college football and they would like to help make that happen. We were blown away, our plan was for him to go to a community college, use his A plus program and then transfer for his Bachelors. We began the recruiting process (which if you have not been through that it is an experience all of it's own). By signing day he had 3 MIAA schools and 4 private schools wanting him to play for them. We chose UCM for a number of reasons which I will not bore you with, he was offered a preferred walk on. He started his red shirt season the same way most do, he got a lot bigger, he got his but kicked on scout team a lot and he learned what it took to play football in the MIAA. He even got to run out of the home locker room at Arrowhead Stadium. He would send me film of him getting schooled by guys like Austin Miller, Michael Tannehill and John Embree, he was mentored by great Seniors like Chris Gomez and Kane Barker. During his red shirt year he received a concussion during practice, he went through the protocol and recovered just fine. At the end of his red shirt year he had a conference with the coaching staff, was given some goals in the weight room and was told he was right where they want him to be. His second year started well, he had no issues in camp and was #3 RG on the depth chart. On September 6th we got to watch him take the field against NE Oklahoma late in the game, as a father you cannot imagine the joy and I will leave it at that. That was the last time we got to see him on Kennedy Field, 3 days later he received another concussion in practice. This time it was not a big hit and he called me scared, he then proceeded to tell me he had two others in High School that went undiagnosed because he "manned up" and did not tell anyone. That brought the total to 4, after a lot of conversation and prayer he decided to hang up his cleats, while the coaching staff was frustrated about not knowing about the other concussions they were very professional and respected his decision.

    I can't help but think that if he would have recovered from the first one properly this would have ended a little differently. Maybe that is why I am writing this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    19,842
    Rep Power
    841391

    Default Re: Concussion, the ultimate heartache

    My daughter was a flyer on the cheer squad in High school and had a few of them due to being dropped or caught wrong in practices. The last time, she got PCS and had problems for about a year afterward. While I love sports as a fan, as a parent, I was really relieved when she graduated and was done with things like that.

    I definitely understand the decision.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Concussion, the ultimate heartache

    Quote Originally Posted by UCMfootballdad View Post
    I was encouraged to post about this by Shanghai Mule several months ago and just could not do it at the time.

    As I watched my son play his senior year of High School football it was apparent he had a gift for our small 3A school. He played RT and tackle on defense, our school ran the triple option a lot and 70 some odd percent of the time it went behind my boy. Our team made it to the District Championship and was defeated by one of the finest and most well coached teams around. My son earned all conference, all district and all state honors as RT for that year. Halfway through the season, 2 of his coaches stopped my wife and I after a game and told us that they thought our son had what it took to play college football and they would like to help make that happen. We were blown away, our plan was for him to go to a community college, use his A plus program and then transfer for his Bachelors. We began the recruiting process (which if you have not been through that it is an experience all of it's own). By signing day he had 3 MIAA schools and 4 private schools wanting him to play for them. We chose UCM for a number of reasons which I will not bore you with, he was offered a preferred walk on. He started his red shirt season the same way most do, he got a lot bigger, he got his but kicked on scout team a lot and he learned what it took to play football in the MIAA. He even got to run out of the home locker room at Arrowhead Stadium. He would send me film of him getting schooled by guys like Austin Miller, Michael Tannehill and John Embree, he was mentored by great Seniors like Chris Gomez and Kane Barker. During his red shirt year he received a concussion during practice, he went through the protocol and recovered just fine. At the end of his red shirt year he had a conference with the coaching staff, was given some goals in the weight room and was told he was right where they want him to be. His second year started well, he had no issues in camp and was #3 RG on the depth chart. On September 6th we got to watch him take the field against NE Oklahoma late in the game, as a father you cannot imagine the joy and I will leave it at that. That was the last time we got to see him on Kennedy Field, 3 days later he received another concussion in practice. This time it was not a big hit and he called me scared, he then proceeded to tell me he had two others in High School that went undiagnosed because he "manned up" and did not tell anyone. That brought the total to 4, after a lot of conversation and prayer he decided to hang up his cleats, while the coaching staff was frustrated about not knowing about the other concussions they were very professional and respected his decision.

    I can't help but think that if he would have recovered from the first one properly this would have ended a little differently. Maybe that is why I am writing this.
    My son had 4 as well. All documented and treated appropriately. His last one occurred the spring game this year. His headaches continued for 3 months. His Doctor would not let him play any longer. It sucks to end a career that way, but I doubt his not sharing made a big difference in his college outcome. Football is such a big part of their lives an our lives as parents that it is very hard to not mourn for what might have been on the football field. The reality is, in the grand scheme of life, it is a very small step in time. Protecting his head now gives him and your family his future. I am truly sorry for your son.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Concussion, the ultimate heartache

    Quote Originally Posted by UCMfootballdad View Post
    I was encouraged to post about this by Shanghai Mule several months ago and just could not do it at the time.

    As I watched my son play his senior year of High School football it was apparent he had a gift for our small 3A school. He played RT and tackle on defense, our school ran the triple option a lot and 70 some odd percent of the time it went behind my boy. Our team made it to the District Championship and was defeated by one of the finest and most well coached teams around. My son earned all conference, all district and all state honors as RT for that year. Halfway through the season, 2 of his coaches stopped my wife and I after a game and told us that they thought our son had what it took to play college football and they would like to help make that happen. We were blown away, our plan was for him to go to a community college, use his A plus program and then transfer for his Bachelors. We began the recruiting process (which if you have not been through that it is an experience all of it's own). By signing day he had 3 MIAA schools and 4 private schools wanting him to play for them. We chose UCM for a number of reasons which I will not bore you with, he was offered a preferred walk on. He started his red shirt season the same way most do, he got a lot bigger, he got his but kicked on scout team a lot and he learned what it took to play football in the MIAA. He even got to run out of the home locker room at Arrowhead Stadium. He would send me film of him getting schooled by guys like Austin Miller, Michael Tannehill and John Embree, he was mentored by great Seniors like Chris Gomez and Kane Barker. During his red shirt year he received a concussion during practice, he went through the protocol and recovered just fine. At the end of his red shirt year he had a conference with the coaching staff, was given some goals in the weight room and was told he was right where they want him to be. His second year started well, he had no issues in camp and was #3 RG on the depth chart. On September 6th we got to watch him take the field against NE Oklahoma late in the game, as a father you cannot imagine the joy and I will leave it at that. That was the last time we got to see him on Kennedy Field, 3 days later he received another concussion in practice. This time it was not a big hit and he called me scared, he then proceeded to tell me he had two others in High School that went undiagnosed because he "manned up" and did not tell anyone. That brought the total to 4, after a lot of conversation and prayer he decided to hang up his cleats, while the coaching staff was frustrated about not knowing about the other concussions they were very professional and respected his decision.

    I can't help but think that if he would have recovered from the first one properly this would have ended a little differently. Maybe that is why I am writing this.
    This is a serious issue and I feel a lot of people just disregard it as being weak. Thankfully, education and awareness is getting better, but I do worry about the day my son wants to play football. We probably won't let him play before middle school. Who knows, though.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Rickenbrode Stadium
    Posts
    13,275
    Rep Power
    285708

    Default Re: Concussion, the ultimate heartache

    UCM, thank you for posting this. As much as it hurts both of your hearts that he's done, his long game will be infinitely better by stopping now. I have a 6th grade student that got a class 3 (!!!) concussion via cheap shot this fall playing full-contact in a rec league... one more hit could literally kill him, however his Mom just wants to know when he can get back on the field. It disgusts me, honestly. Sports isn't everything. According to the actual neurologist this young man got hit so hard that it *nearly detached his optic nerve from his brain*, I kid you not. He had brain swelling, a light brain bleed, etc.

    We don't know each other but I'm happy to hear your son got out when he did, regardless of how many he had and did/didn't tell you about at the time. Watching a 6th grader have random headaches, not be able to have regular amounts of computer / phone screen time, etc. makes me sick to my stomach. I know this is an extreme case, but I can't not think about Cullen Finnerty (RIP, honestly). The dude is a D2 legend whom I have the utmost respect for and the tragedy that happened is incomprehensible. My point is, I'm glad to see that your son got out before anything potentially got worse.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    St. Peters, Missouri
    Posts
    4,474
    Rep Power
    182851

    Default Re: Concussion, the ultimate heartache

    This is a topic that hits very close to home for me.

    I am a certified athletic trainer. I know the term can be confusing, but we are the health care professionals at the forefront of concussion management.

    I personally have cared for dozens of concussions over my career. Probably into triple digits by now honestly.

    While this decision may not be a popular, it was the right one. Take care of the brain. It's far too fragile and important.


    I will say this, for those of you living in rural areas where access to Certified Athletic Trainers (ATC) can be limited, ask questions to your school/athletics administration about who is caring for your student athletes when they are playing or practicing. No disrespect to other health care professions, but if it's not an ATC, they are not meeting the standard of care being established across the country. Rural schools are severely undeserved in regards to sports medicine coverage, and sadly stories like these aren't uncommon where an ATC wasn't present to assess, diagnose, and manage return to play guidelines.
    Cool Story Bro

  7. #7

    Default Re: Concussion, the ultimate heartache

    I hope the "man-up" mentality fades away as we become more aware of the risks and outcomes from repeated head trauma.

    I had the same mentality in high school. I was a QB and not allowed to play defense. I offered to switch positions on offense if they would just let me play defense b/c I loved the idea of lighting someone up versus always being the hunted at QB. Finally, senior year I was allowed to play both ways. One day in practice, I wanted to prove my worth. I came flying in on a TE that had caught a short pass. He was 40lbs heavier than me but I was going to lay the wood. So, I lower my head and throw everything I had at him. I remember seeing stars, dizzy, sick to my stomach and not sure where I was. As I tried to gather myself, I hid my symptoms and "manned-up". The drive home was fuzzy and I had symptoms for the next 3 days. Never said a word and played thru it. So stupid!

    I wish your son the best.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    15,096
    Rep Power
    1000000

    Default Re: Concussion, the ultimate heartache

    Quote Originally Posted by Bearcat97 View Post
    I hope the "man-up" mentality fades away as we become more aware of the risks and outcomes from repeated head trauma.

    I had the same mentality in high school. I was a QB and not allowed to play defense. I offered to switch positions on offense if they would just let me play defense b/c I loved the idea of lighting someone up versus always being the hunted at QB. Finally, senior year I was allowed to play both ways. One day in practice, I wanted to prove my worth. I came flying in on a TE that had caught a short pass. He was 40lbs heavier than me but I was going to lay the wood. So, I lower my head and throw everything I had at him. I remember seeing stars, dizzy, sick to my stomach and not sure where I was. As I tried to gather myself, I hid my symptoms and "manned-up". The drive home was fuzzy and I had symptoms for the next 3 days. Never said a word and played thru it. So stupid!

    I wish your son the best.
    I reiterate best wishes for UCMfootballdad's son.

    The NFHS has been taking more and more steps to reduce these types of injuries. Specifically, changes in the rules to reduce the impacts and hits that are a cause. Among them, new kickoff rules, blind side block rules, and defenseless player rules. Where the difficulty comes in is the "man up" culture. I officiate in Montana, where the majority of games are in smaller, rural areas. In a game I was officiating, a kid peeled back chasing the ball carrier on a punt return. A player on the return team has the player i his sights, and clearly blind side blocked outside of the rules (lead with the hands). He hit the kid so hard that the blocked player's feet lifted off of the ground. The blocker then stood over the kid and woofed. We called the PF as well as ejected the player for the hit and the U/C. The crowd and coaching staff were livid. Some of the comments were "they ain't wearing skirts" and "the volleyball game is in Belt". This is the mentality that will end our sport.

    I am glad for one rule change that was instituted two years ago. If we even suspect a concussion, we send a kid off and they have to be cleared by a medical professional in order to return.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Pensacola, FL
    Posts
    8,465
    Rep Power
    671266

    Default Re: Concussion, the ultimate heartache

    I really appreciate the OP and others for sharing about this incredibly important topic.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Concussion, the ultimate heartache

    Quote Originally Posted by UCMfootballdad View Post
    I was encouraged to post about this by Shanghai Mule several months ago and just could not do it at the time.

    As I watched my son play his senior year of High School football it was apparent he had a gift for our small 3A school. He played RT and tackle on defense, our school ran the triple option a lot and 70 some odd percent of the time it went behind my boy. Our team made it to the District Championship and was defeated by one of the finest and most well coached teams around. My son earned all conference, all district and all state honors as RT for that year. Halfway through the season, 2 of his coaches stopped my wife and I after a game and told us that they thought our son had what it took to play college football and they would like to help make that happen. We were blown away, our plan was for him to go to a community college, use his A plus program and then transfer for his Bachelors. We began the recruiting process (which if you have not been through that it is an experience all of it's own). By signing day he had 3 MIAA schools and 4 private schools wanting him to play for them. We chose UCM for a number of reasons which I will not bore you with, he was offered a preferred walk on. He started his red shirt season the same way most do, he got a lot bigger, he got his but kicked on scout team a lot and he learned what it took to play football in the MIAA. He even got to run out of the home locker room at Arrowhead Stadium. He would send me film of him getting schooled by guys like Austin Miller, Michael Tannehill and John Embree, he was mentored by great Seniors like Chris Gomez and Kane Barker. During his red shirt year he received a concussion during practice, he went through the protocol and recovered just fine. At the end of his red shirt year he had a conference with the coaching staff, was given some goals in the weight room and was told he was right where they want him to be. His second year started well, he had no issues in camp and was #3 RG on the depth chart. On September 6th we got to watch him take the field against NE Oklahoma late in the game, as a father you cannot imagine the joy and I will leave it at that. That was the last time we got to see him on Kennedy Field, 3 days later he received another concussion in practice. This time it was not a big hit and he called me scared, he then proceeded to tell me he had two others in High School that went undiagnosed because he "manned up" and did not tell anyone. That brought the total to 4, after a lot of conversation and prayer he decided to hang up his cleats, while the coaching staff was frustrated about not knowing about the other concussions they were very professional and respected his decision.

    I can't help but think that if he would have recovered from the first one properly this would have ended a little differently. Maybe that is why I am writing this.
    Man, I can only imagine the euphoria you felt when your son took the field. Puffed up Peacocks wouldn’t hold a candle to that feeling.

    I played back in the day and I remember having multiple concussions. Trainers would just put that ammonia under your nose and the second you could tell him how many fingers were being held up you back in the action. Nowadays in the intense heat of Texas summers when I bend over to grab something I have vertigo. I know it’s from the concussions. I have to ask others to pick up the article because I’ve had a few face plants.

    So, in the best interest of your son and anyone else that may be at this crossroad it’s not worth your health in the long run. Thanks for sharing.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Bearcat Nation
    Posts
    68
    Rep Power
    6598

    Default Re: Concussion, the ultimate heartache

    Quote Originally Posted by UCMfootballdad View Post
    I was encouraged to post about this by Shanghai Mule several months ago and just could not do it at the time.

    As I watched my son play his senior year of High School football it was apparent he had a gift for our small 3A school. He played RT and tackle on defense, our school ran the triple option a lot and 70 some odd percent of the time it went behind my boy. Our team made it to the District Championship and was defeated by one of the finest and most well coached teams around. My son earned all conference, all district and all state honors as RT for that year. Halfway through the season, 2 of his coaches stopped my wife and I after a game and told us that they thought our son had what it took to play college football and they would like to help make that happen. We were blown away, our plan was for him to go to a community college, use his A plus program and then transfer for his Bachelors. We began the recruiting process (which if you have not been through that it is an experience all of it's own). By signing day he had 3 MIAA schools and 4 private schools wanting him to play for them. We chose UCM for a number of reasons which I will not bore you with, he was offered a preferred walk on. He started his red shirt season the same way most do, he got a lot bigger, he got his but kicked on scout team a lot and he learned what it took to play football in the MIAA. He even got to run out of the home locker room at Arrowhead Stadium. He would send me film of him getting schooled by guys like Austin Miller, Michael Tannehill and John Embree, he was mentored by great Seniors like Chris Gomez and Kane Barker. During his red shirt year he received a concussion during practice, he went through the protocol and recovered just fine. At the end of his red shirt year he had a conference with the coaching staff, was given some goals in the weight room and was told he was right where they want him to be. His second year started well, he had no issues in camp and was #3 RG on the depth chart. On September 6th we got to watch him take the field against NE Oklahoma late in the game, as a father you cannot imagine the joy and I will leave it at that. That was the last time we got to see him on Kennedy Field, 3 days later he received another concussion in practice. This time it was not a big hit and he called me scared, he then proceeded to tell me he had two others in High School that went undiagnosed because he "manned up" and did not tell anyone. That brought the total to 4, after a lot of conversation and prayer he decided to hang up his cleats, while the coaching staff was frustrated about not knowing about the other concussions they were very professional and respected his decision.

    I can't help but think that if he would have recovered from the first one properly this would have ended a little differently. Maybe that is why I am writing this.
    Speaking directly about your situation, I'm sorry to hear about all of that as I'm sure it must have difficult for you son and your family. As a former player and coach at the high school level, I can say football is a wonderful institution and can be great for the lives of young men. However it's important to be able to take a step back and see that there's bigger and better things ahead in life. I think you should be proud that your son came forward about the two diagnosed concussions, even though it was after the fact. Life and health is too fragile not to take seriously.

    On the concussion issue in general, it's certainly scary. I would never want to put a player in danger. As folks have mentioned, its all about education. And that's for people on both ends of the spectrum. The parents/players who have the "just man up" mentality need to be educated and understand the risks. On the the other hand, those that don't play or don't allow their kids to play because they're afraid of concussions need to be educated as well. It's certainly a risk to strap that helmet on and go out, but if we've got educated players and parents, and coaches who teach the game in a safe way then the concussion epidemic can be reduced.

    (Also, I like the occasional thread where we can take a break and all just chat as football fans rather than being at one another's throats)

  12. Default Re: Concussion, the ultimate heartache

    Thanks everybody.

  13. Default Re: Concussion, the ultimate heartache

    I guess I need to get my name changed now.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Maryville
    Posts
    289
    Rep Power
    2317

    Default Re: Concussion, the ultimate heartache

    Quote Originally Posted by UCMfootballdad View Post
    I guess I need to get my name changed now.
    I see no need to do that, as would most that post on here. It is who you are, and that has not changed.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    3,409
    Rep Power
    3544

    Default Re: Concussion, the ultimate heartache

    Quote Originally Posted by UCMfootballdad View Post
    I guess I need to get my name changed now.
    Not at all man....this is who you are to all of us! That doesn't change!
    As for your son, I sincerely support him and all who suffer from any concussions. Your son is a true football champion for giving everything that he had to give. Injuries are a random element many times; your son was unfortunate with the injuries but that doesn't take anything away from his commitment or yours. I feel for you man, I really do. But you'll always be UCMfootballdad and your son will always be a Mule, and you can always take a great deal of pride in both of those things!
    Northwest Missouri State University
    BEARCATS

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •