Tri-Cities High School Football Coaches React to Damar Hamlin Injury
In an instant, everything changed. It was the finale of a wonderful New Year's weekend of both College and NFL football. The Cincinnati Bengals hosting the Buffalo Bills. It was a great game on paper between two of the best teams this season in the AFC.
It was a Hard Hit
The pass went over the middle on a crossing route. The receiver and defender collided. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, until Damar Hamlin got up, then went back down. In calling high school football, I have seen an ambulance on the field before. It is never a good thing. Usually, it is for a player that suffered a serious leg injury, maybe a compound fracture. One thing is for sure, we are glad medical attention is right there.
Most Were not Prepared for what Happened Next
The medical attention was different in this situation. There was visible CPR. Later we found out an AED device had been used. Players from both teams were visibly shaken. As I watched, it was not clear if the 24-year-old young man was alive. His teammates surrounded him providing a modicum of privacy out on the field in front of over 65,000 in the stadium and millions watching on TV.
Local Mid Columbia Conference Coaches React and Comment
My thoughts went to the schools we cover on KONA Radio. How did local Coaches handle this? Did any of the players have questions? At Richland High, Coach Mike Neidhold said many of the Bombers are in his classes, and yes they talked through what they witnessed and how it affected them. Coach Neidhold also said with the level of conditioning and athletes being bigger, stronger, and faster than they have ever been at the high school level, it is surprising there aren't more severe injuries.
Having the Best Sports Equipment, Training, and Conditioning Helps to Keep Kids Safe
Coach Neidhold added our area schools invest time and money to keep players as safe as possible. Teams use the best helmets and pads with the highest level of technology available. Stretching, conditioning, and teaching how to initiate contact and receive contact all play a part in the highest possible safety for the sport.
Local Coaches Prepare for all Possible Outcomes
At Kennewick High, Randy Affholter said that none of the players had reached out to him about the MNF Damar Hamlin situation. Affholter did exchange text messages that night though, in real-time with his Assistant Coaches about their thoughts, feelings, and observations. Should something happen the Lions' action plan is place. The team Trainers helped craft that plan and methodically know what to do. Each staff member also trains for their integral part of the response. At Chiawana, Coach Scott Bond added the team trains for things like tackling for a reason and that's why "we do certain things a certain way. It will help minimize chances or opportunities for injuries".
Best news of the day came out earlier.
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Gallery Credit: Pete Christensen