Discussion of Minnesota Girls High School Hockey

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Hawaii goes all-in on healing concussions

Post by greybeard58 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:20 pm

Hawaii goes all-in on healing concussions: Athletic trainers placed in every high school | InvestigateWest ... ncussions/

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A constant risk

Post by greybeard58 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:27 pm

A constant risk

How concussions are a risk to every ice hockey player – and it’s not likely to ever change ... -1-9580566

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Jincy Dunne

Post by greybeard58 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:32 am

In her own words: "I didn’t sleep at all."

Growing up, it had always been hockey, hockey, hockey.

I’m one of six Dunne children along with Jessica, Josh, Josey, Joy and James and we all love the game.

My older sister Jessica, who was a Buckeye, is 14 months older than me and my brother Josh, who plays for Clarkson, is 18 months younger. The three of us did everything together as kids, which is how I got into hockey in the first place. Josh loved sports and he went to play hockey so I said to myself ‘alright, if you’re doing ballet with me, I’ll go do hockey with you.’ We tried it and ended up having a knack for it. When it came time where we had to pick one sport, there was no question it was going to be hockey.

Although I grew up playing between the St. Louis Lady Blues AAA and the ’97 AAA Jr. Blues programs with Jess, Josh and I got the chance to play together on the Blues U16 AAA guys team my final year with the program. Because I was the only girl on the team, he got stuck being my roommate.

I feel really fortunate that I grew up in St. Louis because a lot of the National Hockey League Blues’ alumni like Jeff Brown, Al MacInnis, Jamie Rivers and Keith Tkachuk all gave back because their kids were all part of the Blues AAA program. They were really involved in youth hockey which makes it what it is. I also got the opportunity to play for coach Jordan Janes during my time as a Blue. Even though he wasn’t an NHL alum, he’s had a lasting impact on my career. To this day, he still supports his players like they’re still playing for him and I’m incredibly grateful for the chance to play for him. There are some really great coaches in St. Louis. I feel really fortunate to have had that coaching.

It was about two weeks before I was set to come to Ohio State in the summer of 2015.

We were coming home from a hockey road trip and it was around three in the morning. As I was pulling my bag out from the back of the car the trunk was coming down. I stood up and smacked the back of my head against it.

When I hit my head I was tired and dizzy. I had gone through a concussion in February but this one was different. I was feeling better but looking back I don’t think I was 100% so I think it was that second bump that pushed me over the edge and almost out of hockey for good.

In addition to the issues with my head, Ohio State was dealing with issues of its own.

I was recruited by Nate Handrahan but he was let go by the time I got to campus for my freshman year. Former Olympic gold medalist Jenny Potter was brought in and things didn’t exactly get better from there.

I was still dealing with concussion issues and life without hockey continued for me. Even if I would start to get my heart rate up even the slightest bit and I would feel so sick. Any sort of light made me want to throw up. I was able to drive alright but if I was in the passenger’s seat, the motion would make me want to be over a trash can. I didn’t sleep at all.

Oh yeah, and I was a college student now, but even that was a problem. When I started school at OSU, I’d walk to class and I’d leave because I would feel so sick.

On one occasion, I hadn’t slept all night. I was running a little bit late to Spanish class and I walked quickly to try and get there. By the time that I made it to class, I remember walking into class feeling dizzy. My teacher asked me if i needed to go home. She said that I was pale and my eyes were super dark.

With the concussion came depression and anxiety. You can’t really explain it to someone who hasn’t had one. You’re really not yourself. That makes it worse because you do things or act in certain ways and you say to yourself ‘This is not me. I don’t know who this is.’ It was a complete spiral effect.

The year with coach Potter, I was lost. It was the first year without hockey for me. Battling the mental side of things, it was really hard. I felt lonely because I didn’t really get to engage with the girls. I didn’t travel. Sometimes I couldn’t even come to the rink because I didn’t feel good. I felt like I lost a lot of relationships that I could’ve made. On top of that, we finished 10-25-1, our worst record in almost a decade.

The summer before my first real season as a Buckeye was when I started to feel like myself again.

But just when things were getting better, they seemed to get worse.

With a few weeks before my first game as a Buckeye, coach Potter was removed. I was thinking ‘What is going on? Is our program going to get cut?’ Our season was starting and we don’t even have a coach. It was laughable at times. We were the only team in the country that didn’t have a coach. The Buckeye men’s coaches were coming out and running our practices. Great coaches, by the way, no wonder they are so good.

By this point, some teammates of mine had transferred out of the program and I was considering doing the same.

But Ohio State is unlike any other university in the country.

Yeah, coach Handrahan recruited me, but the place sells itself.

Jess was already here and my grandpa lives in Pickerington, about 20 minutes from campus. The tradition this place has, going to football games and talking to players, they loved it and had so much pride in the school.

I’m glad Jess chose here, because if she didn’t, I wouldn’t have looked here to be honest.

I thought about leaving, but I believed in the school and I believed in the program. A huge reason I wanted to come to Ohio State was because I wanted to help build something.

After watching them for a year, there were girls I was really impressed with. I wanted to stick around for them. A lot of our team is made up of under the radar players who didn’t have the opportunity to go to Minnesota or Wisconsin.

I liked Minnesota a lot, they have an incredible university and I can’t say enough good things about their program and coaches, but when you hear the cliché ‘this school feels right,’ it didn’t.

Ohio State did.

And then Nadine Muzerall was brought in.

‘Muz’ was all in from the beginning. She uprooted her life to come be our head coach. She also wanted to help build the program and create a new culture.

That season that was put together in weeks, we finished 14-18-5. While the competitor in me always wants to win, it was a year that I didn’t take for granted. I wanted to enjoy it and not take it for granted. Before the concussion, I got so caught up in my performance. After, it was all big picture. I was telling and asking myself, ‘This is a great sport. Am I having fun?’

I wasn’t afraid of playing, but I was afraid of the pressure. I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be the player that I was because I wanted to perform well. Not being that player right off the bat was frustrating. Doubt crept into my mind.

Last season, everything changed for the better and then some.

I didn’t expect to go to the Frozen Four last year. Looking on paper, I thought our roster was as good as any, especially with some of the talent around the country preparing for the winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Our goaltending was very good. We had a talented team. We really came together and were a special group.

The first time we swept Wisconsin – the number one team in the country – was probably one of the coolest moments this program has ever had. The coolest part about it was that it was a complete team win. All four lines contributed and you could feel the energy, the love and the support for one another.

When we found out that we were going to our first ever NCAA Tournament in the airport on the way back from the WCHA Tournament, that was amazing.

The Boston College NCAA Quarterfinal game was one of the most fun games I’ve ever played. The whole team was loose, we had so much energy and we were genuinely having fun when we were on the ice. The Eagles had the top line in the country who had probably put up more points than our entire team combined.

In my opinion, we should’ve won it all.

I for sure thought we were going to beat Clarkson in the Frozen Four. We had momentum, we took it to them all game and us to get beat in overtime, it was devastating.

So far so good this year. We’re a Top-10 team in the country with room to improve. By the time March arrives, it’s going to come down to consistency and fire. We have a lot of skill on our team but we do our best work when we grind other teams down, forecheck hard, win battles and play with grit. Most importantly, we play for the girl next to us. Individual success, is team success.

The program I came here to help build is built and we’ll continue to build on it.

We’re a family.

As for me, I’m feeling hungry. I want to get back to the Frozen Four and win the whole thing. I’ve been involved with USA Hockey since I was 15 and the 2022 Beijing Olympics are on my mind. That would be a dream come true, but who knows?

With hockey, I’ve been super blessed. I don’t want to be complacent. Complacency is a giant that will keep you down in life. It’s not for me. After an entire year where I was limited, I want to see what my limits are. I want to be the best defenseman, teammate and captain I can be for these girls. I want to leave a legacy.

If being my best takes me to the next level, I’ll go from there.

Building a Program By Jincy Dunne ... a-program/

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Bemidji Beavers

Post by greybeard58 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:38 am

Bemidji Beavers

This weekend the WCHA WHockey partnered with HeadwayFDN to increase concussion awareness. Both the Beavers and Badgers will wear special stickers on the back of their helmets to help #ShiftConcussionCulture. Fans can donate at:

See the video clip at: ... 2133144576

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Anna Pate

Post by greybeard58 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:44 am

Anna Pate

When I was 18 I got a bad concussion playing hockey. I lost all of my college scholarship opportunities. I would sleep all day, I wouldn’t eat, I felt hopeless. I thought these symptoms would go away once my brain healed, but these things don’t always go away. #BellLetsTaIk

Soon after I lost my 9 year old cousin to a freak accident. In the same year I went through my first painful break up, and got into a serious car accident. I couldn’t ignore my depression & suicidal thoughts anymore. I got help and it was the best thing I ever did #BellLetsTaIk

Mental illness doesn’t discriminate. To any of my lovely followers who are struggling with mental health issues, please take care of yourself and tell someone. Don’t ever wait until it gets bad. My dm’s are always open, but I'm still no professional #BeIlLetsTalk ... 0037833728

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Goalie Sydney Neault

Post by greybeard58 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:53 pm

Goalie Sydney Neault concussion

“I thought we played well. We are missing a couple of players who are out sick or out with concussions and things like that, but the kids stepped up and played well," Roach said. "We are playing some kids who have never played a high school hockey game before, so they are stepping up and contributing.”

Sophomore co-captain Emily Sartori of Wilmington scored the Lady Rams lone goal of the game, making a steal at center ice and going in on a breakaway, beating the Norwood goalie with a nice wrist shot to pull Shawsheen within 3-1 with 9:48 left in the game.

“Emily has been playing very well for us," Roach said. "She missed some games at the beginning of the year, but she is back now and playing well.”

Shawsheen nearly pulled within one goal moment later, when Sartori set up freshman forward Amber Hurley in front, but the Norwood keeper came up with a big save to keep it a two goal advantage for the Mustangs.

Norwood did finally add one more goal, beating Shawsheen goalie Clarees Caprigno, who played an outstanding game, and has been playing very well in net as of late, replacing starter Sydney Neault of Tewksbury, who has been out with a concussion.

"Clarees stepped in. She does everything for us. She steps in and plays goalie, plays defense, plays forward, whatever we need her for," Roach said.

Shawsheen Tech’s Girls Hockey team continues to take strides in the right direction
Read more: ... 6f984.html

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Frontal lobe paradox

Post by greybeard58 » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:45 am

Frontal lobe paradox: where people have brain damage but don’t know it

Humans have big brains and our frontal lobes, just behind the forehead, are particularly huge. Injuries to this part of the brain often happen after blows to the head or a stroke. Paradoxically, some people with frontal lobe injuries can seem unaffected – until they’ve been carefully evaluated.

The frontal lobes are sometimes described as the executives of the brain, or conductors of the orchestra. Among other things, they control and organize our thinking and decision-making processes. You rely on your frontal lobes when you do things like make plans, switch from one activity to another, or resist temptation.

Some people with frontal lobe injuries seem completely normal in short one-to-one conversations, but they actually have great difficulty with everyday tasks, such as cooking, organizing their paperwork or remembering to take medication. This is called the frontal lobe paradox because, even though these people seem unimpaired when assessed, they have significant difficulties in everyday life.

Without specialist expertise in acquired brain injuries, it can be almost impossible to spot frontal lobe paradox because, in many cases, people will still be able to speak normally and seem remarkably unimpaired. They may be unaware of their difficulties and deny that they need any help or support.

Insight issues

People affected by the condition are not lying when they say they don’t need help or support. Instead, they may lack knowledge of their own condition because areas of the frontal lobes that are responsible for self-monitoring and developing insight have been affected by their brain damage.

A second reason for the frontal lobe paradox is that the skills needed for an assessment interview are different from those needed in everyday life. The structure and routine of an environment, such as a rehabilitation ward, can, in effect, play the role of someone’s frontal lobes. This can mask the difficulties people experience in less structured, open-ended environments. For this reason, a person’s level of ability needs to be assessed in a situation that resembles everyday life. A seemingly simple task, such as going shopping, can reveal difficulties in people who appear unimpaired on standard tests of memory and attention, and have normal intelligence.

Lack of specialist training

Neuroscientists and doctors have known about the frontal lobe paradox for at least 50 years, but it is not always understood by non-specialists. This situation can lead to people not receiving help they desperately need.

For example, in England and Wales, social workers and care managers are usually responsible for deciding whether a person has the capacity (under the Mental Capacity Act 2005) to decline support or care. These are hardworking professionals who are motivated to act in the best interests of those under their care, but many receive little or no specialist training in brain injury.

These professionals tend to base their decision about a person’s mental capacity on a short face-to-face interview. This is exactly the situation that can lead to people with frontal lobe damage being denied the care that they need.

The assessment provides the support needed for a person to sound competent and able, but only for the duration of the assessment. In one example, a woman persuaded a series of professionals that she could safely live alone after a significant brain injury. In reality, she could not make meals for herself or remember to take her lifesaving medication. Sadly, she died at home shortly afterwards.

Support needed

We don’t know exactly how common the condition is, but the frontal lobe paradox is probably found in a much higher number of people than you might first imagine. As well as those who have suffered blows to the head and strokes, it can affect people with certain infections, some forms of dementia and even poorly controlled diabetes.

It is vital that social workers and care managers are trained on brain injury to protect the interests of people with frontal lobe injuries. People with these injuries are in particular need of support, but they are often the least likely to receive it.

Frontal lobe paradox: where people have brain damage but don’t know it
Read more: ... -it-100923

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8th grader and D1 commit misses almost 2 months

Post by greybeard58 » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:56 pm

8th grader and D1 commit misses almost 2 months due to concussion

Ella Huntley

Tied at 2-2, Williamsville quickly took a 4-2 lead early in the third period on a power play goal from Sidorski, assisted by junior Sam Ingham and eighth-grader Ella Huntley at 13:08 and Huntley, from Erin and Emma Roland at 12:14.

Skaneateles’ top player, senior Megan Teachout, cut the deficit to 4-3 with an unassisted goal at 7:05 of the third period and sophomore Campbell Torrey tied the game from senior Heather Tanzella and junior Ioanna Christou at 5:19.

Huntley, who missed almost two months due to a concussion, netted her first career hat trick as a member of Williamsville. In addition to her goal in the third period, she pounced on rebounds for goals at 11:47 and 7:03 of the second period.

“It was amazing,” said Huntley, who has already verbally committed to play hockey at Cornell. “I just wanted my team to come on top. I scored some big goals and got them going.”

Williamsville girls hockey wins program’s first state title
Read more: ... ate-title/

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Andrew Mulligan | Concussion Legacy Foundation

Post by greybeard58 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:11 pm

JUNE 15, 1993 - FEBRUARY 17, 2016
By Karly Mulligan, Drew's sister

This is the story of my brother and best friend Drew.

Andrew ‘Drew’ Mulligan, was born on June 15, 1993. It wasn’t much longer after that day that Drew met the love of his life: the sport of ice hockey. Being 4 years younger than Drew, I don’t remember a time where his schedule did not revolve around practices or games. I know it’s cheesy to say but he really did eat, breathe and sleep hockey. Even towards the end when things got bad, hockey always put a smile on D’s face. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

Drew played hockey his whole life, spending weekends traveling with his teams and weeknights practicing. His senior year of high school, he lived with our aunt in Pennsylvania so he could play juniors hockey. He took online classes before returning back to our local high school when the season ended. Drew graduated from RHAM High School in 2011 and then went away to North Carolina to attend High Point University.

Everything seemed to be going well for Drew. As hard as it was saying goodbye to him and adjusting to being an only child, he was happy. He quickly made friends and started to get serious about his school work. But, when I think of High Point now, one story comes to mind… one where his concussions impacted him off the ice. He was playing basketball with friends and fell, hitting his head. Luckily one of his friends from home also went to school there and he called her. Obviously, when you hear someone hits their head, it is a given that they are in a lot of pain. However, his speech was slurred and he wasn’t making much sense. This is when I began to realize how damaging head trauma is.

I always knew Drew had a history of concussions. At a very young age, he got his first one during a game. Being 6’4” and scrappy, Drew was always the first to jump off the bench to defend his teammates or run his mouth and antagonize his opponents. Being the “enforcer” comes with lots of responsibilities, but in Drew’s case, it also came with a lot of concussions.

To be honest, I am not sure just how many concussions D had in total... sometimes I felt like a simple bump of the head brought on symptoms. Sometimes, I think he wouldn’t say anything because he didn’t want to be taken out of the game. But, it wasn’t until the last concussion that made brushing them under the rug impossible.

I will never forget where I was when I got the phone call saying that everything changed for the first time. He had come home from college his freshman year and joined another junior hockey team in Massachusetts. I was at my friend’s house when the home phone rang for me. It was my mom. I always had a fear of not being at Drew’s game in case something happened. 9 out of 10 games he was ok… This game he wasn’t. Someone checked him, but it was not a normal check. The other kid’s stick was pushed against his chin, popping Drew’s helmet off. When he landed, his head hit the boards then the ice. My mom had said he was coming home after going to the hospital.

When he came home, he was out of it and in a lot of pain. His last memory was being hit, but he completely forgot the process of going to the hospital and getting home. After going to the doctors, they told him that his brain damage was so severe, he was never to play a contact sport again. This is when his worst nightmare came true and mine started.

After that hit, Drew was never the same. For weeks, he sat in a dark room refusing to talk to anyone. Yes, he was in pain from his concussion... but I think that what hurt more was losing hockey. Desperate to get back on the ice, he used to hide his hockey bags in the bushes in hopes my mom didn’t see.

I find it hard to verbalize who Drew was, because quite honestly, I have never met anybody like him. He was kind, but protective. He was smart, but an idiot at the same time. He was capable of being serious, but preferred not to be. After a bad day, I would come home to his freckled-face and goofy smile and no matter my mood, laugh until tears rolled down my cheeks. He made everyone laugh. Underneath his 6'4" stature, Bauer jacket and exterior "game face," lay a heart of gold. He would do anything for anyone if they just took the time to ask. He did everything for me. Most of what I know today, Drew taught me. Most of who I am, Drew inspired me to be.

After that hit, the Drew I knew was not there anymore. His whole demeanor changed. Drew scored a 2100 on his first attempt at SATs. However, simple things that once were easy for my intelligent brother to accomplish became frustrating. School work that I used to ask him for help with became so challenging for Drew, I found myself tutoring him. He became irritated a lot faster, snapped a lot quicker and smiled a lot less.

With this being said, Drew attended trade school to become an electrician and graduated top in his class. The work, though harder for him, got done. Concentrating, which was again more difficult, was accomplished. He did it. He started playing men’s league, which was non-checking, and reintroduced hockey into his life. He got hired by a local electrician shortly after and started working immediately. He loved it. I was so proud of him. I thought things were looking up for Drew and I had high hopes that his new-found success was enough to keep him here. I so badly just wanted him to be happy.

However, on February 17, 2016, Drew died of suicide. This was when my life changed forever. The pain is indescribable and every day it consumes me. It has been over a year and I still can’t understand why or how… “why did he leave, how am I never going to hug my brother ever again, why didn’t he say something that night, how am I going to live life without my best friend?” I will never get any of these questions answered.

Drew used to tell me that he knew his brain was not working and that there was something wrong. He said he could feel himself being incomplete. He felt his brain change. I so desperately wanted to help him or give him answers myself. However, at the time, there were none.

However, after deciding to donate Drew’s brain, some of my family’s question found clarity. His brain was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) as well as Post-Concussion Syndrome. The more I learn about CTE and PCS, the more I answer Drew’s questions. I wish I could call him and tell him he wasn’t crazy… that the changes and confusion he was feeling, he was not alone in feeling. Maybe he would still be here today if he had the answers.

My brother’s death was my worst nightmare that every day I wish I could wake up from. But I know I never will. With this being said, what my family and I went through is something that another family should never have to experience. Drew’s death is a reminder of how important safety and observation is. No matter how bad they want to get back on the ice or field, don’t let them until they are ready. No matter how much they love the sport, no game is ever worth saying goodbye.

Although Drew's earthly journey has ended (far too soon), his passing continues to teach me things every day. I now realize that brain injuries are not something to mess with. Although the consequences can be life-altering, if you realize the severity and the potential dangers, avoidance is possible. So, if you or anybody you know suffers from similar conditions, please please please seek proper medical attention for the sake of you and your family. Had Drew known then what I know now, things could be different. Regardless of circumstances, Drew has always been and will always be my big brother--partner in crime--bodyguard (at least he'd like to think so)--role model, but most importantly--my very best friend. I know he walks beside me each and every day and I feel blessed to even have had the opportunity to have him in my life for the time that I did. We'll always be together in mind & in spirit, jamming to our favorite song... "Like an ocean you can't see, but you can smell...but I do know one thing, where you are is where I belong.”

Since his passing, our family and friends have been committed to spreading the word of CTE and brain injuries. Each year we host an annual golf outing in his honor. All proceeds are donated to Boston University and the brain bank to further research and hopefully help other families.

However, I do not want his death to be the only thing his legacy stands for. I want my brother to be remembered for the happy, loving, wiseass he was. I want memories of Drew to bring smiles to people’s faces. I want Drew to be remembered as the real Drew, who he really was before CTE. With this being said, I want his absence to serve as a constant reminder to all...

No matter how much they love the sport, no game is ever worth saying goodbye.

Love you always, D ... w-mulligan

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20/20 hindsight?

Post by greybeard58 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:08 am

20/20 hindsight?

Hockey Parent
"Both my daughters played hockey & I couldn't believe that some parents would let their kids play after a concussion...let alone several. Not worth the risk!" ... 3011686401

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Re: concussions

Post by greybeard58 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:11 am

Link to video below

Hockey mom concerned after son’s concussion

An Airdrie parent is hoping for an inquiry from Hockey Alberta after her 13-year-old son was severely concussed Jan. 12, during a non-checking hockey game in Cochrane.

Crystal Adamo was terrified when her son Dylan was struck in the side of the head by a blind-sided body check that left him dazed on the ice.

Dylan plays for the Airdrie Minor Hockey Association’s (AMHA) Bantam City B Predators, which competes in a non-checking division of the Rockies Hockey League, according to Adamo. On Jan. 12, the team was playing a league game at the Cochrane Arena.

“Because it’s a non-contact league, we never expected a hit like this to occur,” she said. “Neither did my son, and he’s not trained to watch out for these hits – and certainly not to receive them.”

The crunching hit was captured on video, which Adamo shared on her Facebook page the following day.

“It was certainly shocking, as the video can show,” she said. “It was a deliberate hit – you can see how the kid just completely lined up to hit Dylan.”

According to Adamo, Dylan was removed from the ice by EMS and taken to the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary for an assessment.

Later, Adamo said, he complained about a sore neck and back, as well as problems concentrating. A further trip to the doctor showed Dylan had suffered a severe concussion.

Adamo said her son had to take more than a week off from school due to the injury, and will have to be re-integrated to his usual activities slowly to allow for proper healing.

“It’s really about healing the brain, at this point,” she said. “He’s off school for a minimum of a week, and when he does return, he has to do daily testing with Competitive Edge for his concussion.”

The player who struck Dylan received a three-game suspension from the referee, according to Adamo, but she felt the hit warranted a more serious reprimand.

“We’d certainly like to see [Hockey Alberta] step in and do a full inquiry, and see if this has occurred before, and to take this a little bit further,” she said. “We don’t know, at this point, what long-term effects this [concussion]is going to have on Dylan.”

An AMHA representative said the association is aware of the incident, and has been in contact with Adamo.

Adamo said she also hopes the incident can bring more awareness to the dangers of head injuries in youth sport, as well as the importance of athletes being baseline tested for concussions. She added Dylan had been baseline tested the previous summer, when he signed up to play tackle football.

“There needs to be further awareness,” she said. “I would love to have teams sit down and watch footage like this, and…have conversations about it.” ... n-20190129

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Time to start using our heads on contact sports

Post by greybeard58 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:18 am

Time to start using our heads on contact sports

It's not realistic to demand an outright ban on youth football or hockey – or all manner of contact sports – but it's time Canadians had a discussion about whether children should play them, how and at what age.

Globe editorial: Time to start using our heads on contact sports
Read more: ... le36679300

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The Headway Foundation

Post by greybeard58 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:46 am

The CDC estimates that 69% of student athletes neglect to report possible concussion symptoms

Last week, Jan 28-Feb 3, The Headway Foundation partnered with 175 winter sports teams for our Third Annual Concussion Awareness Weekend. The week was dedicated to athletes promoting a safer sports culture surrounding concussions through education with a focus on symptom reporting and supporting teammates during recovery.

The event featured repeat participation from a number of teams, including the ECAC, NCHC, and WCHA conferences. We were also proud to welcome new participation from teams in the ECHL, Hockey East, NESCAC, Atlantic Hockey, New England Prep, JWHL, club hockey, and youth hockey teams.

While ice hockey was the dominant sport represented, we also saw participation from basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, squash, swim and dive, track and field, and even a triathlete.

Over 4,500 student-athletes involved were encouraged to take the New Tough Pact and wore the signature Headway sticker on their hockey helmets, jerseys, or water bottles as a symbol and a reminder of their commitment to handle concussions properly. Participation in the New Tough Pact took a strong leap forward in this year’s event.

"We are thrilled to see the growth and participation of so many teams during our third annual Concussion Awareness Weekend,” said Paige Decker, Headway Co-Founder. “The sheer number of athletes rallying behind this weekend is a testament to the progress being made about the proper ways to handle concussions in sports, and we are grateful to be involved with the movement."

We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring support for our message that participating players and teams expressed through social media. The CDC estimates that 69% of student athletes neglect to report possible concussion symptoms, and Headway’s encouragement towards social media efforts were geared towards challenging this stigma.

“The goal of this week is to start a positive, peer driven dialogue about a challenging injury that is often mismanaged and rarely discussed in the locker room,” said Sarah Renberg Headway Program Development Coordinator. “Having Concussion Awareness and our New Tough concept sweep social media like it did starts conversations. It makes an invisible injury seen, and hopefully registers in the mind of athletes so that if they take a bad hit and experience symptoms, they speak up.”

Concussion Awareness Week 2019 - A Big Success!
Check out the highlights and hear what New Tough means to each team at: ... kylf15ot3w

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How Concussions Affect Your Brain

Post by greybeard58 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:11 pm

How Concussions Affect Your Brain

By Danielle Corcione
February 2, 2018
How Concussions Affect Your Brain

Football seasons come and go, but the effects of just a single head injury can last a lifetime. Live television footage of games, and even fictional video games like Madden NFL, reveal how commonplace concussions can be for football players. However, recent evidence has revealed women—particularly, young women—are suffering more severe symptoms when it comes to concussions.

According to a New York Times article by Britni de la Cretaz, more young girls are entering football, even while overall participation rates decline. While it's great that girls are evening the playing field, some experts told the Times that the concussions that are so common in football aren't worth the risk.

“Why bring girls into it? We should be taking the boys out of it,” Dr. Robert Stern, director of clinical research for Boston University’s CTE Center, which studies chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease often seen after repeated impact, told the Times. “It doesn’t make sense to expose our children to repetitive head impacts during periods of incredible maturation of the most important organ in our body, the brain.”

According to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, CTE, in which a protein spreads in the brain killing cells, is found in people with a long history of brain trauma. Symptoms include memory issues, confusion, impaired judgment, and even progressive dementia. Behavioral symptoms, which tend to appear before cognitive ones, include depression, irritability, and anxiety. It's not just concussions that cause CTE. The repeated impact caused by tackle football is dangerous and can cause CTE, Stern told the Times, even when it does't lead to concussion. In fact, the Concussion Legacy Foundation indicates that sub-concussive impact, or blows to the head that don't cause concussion, may be the biggest risk factor. And, the Foundation notes that research found the younger you're exposed to such blows, the more at risk for CTE you may be.

Even beyond concussions or CTE, the Times reports impact in sports like football can cause changes in the brain for young people. Research has shown that playing tackle football before age 12 can put you at a higher risk for emotional and behavioral later in life, and playing just one season and not having a concussion can change the brain's white matter.

Teen Vogue spoke with concussion experts—Jessie Garcia, is the founder and CEO of Tozuda, which makes a head impact sensors, as well as Katherine Snedaker, LCSW, who founded PINK Concussions, a nonprofit dedicated to female brain injury—to learn how concussions affect teen girls differently. Now 28, Garcia has experienced five concussions in her lifetime. Now 50, Snedaker has experienced 25 concussions.

Teen Vogue: What are the long term effects of multiple concussions?

Katherine Snedaker: The long term effects of multiple concussions are still unknown. There are two factors. There are the actual concussions. There’s also sub-concussive hits. When you’re talking about a football player, there’s a lot of talk about CTE. That’s based on sub-concussive hits. In my situation I’ve had a 25 concussions but I haven’t had multiple hits over years.

My memory isn’t as good as it was 10 years ago, but if you account for my age being 50 rather than 40, I’m perfectly normal. There is so much variable in brain injuries. I tend to personally have concussions every few years. For me, it’s eight to ten weeks of headaches and they clear. The issue I think surrounding the girls I’ve worked with, especially with sports concussions, these girls are incredibly active. They are physically, mentally, and emotionally engaged in their sport. That’s their friend group. When they get a concussion and pulled from that group, when they can no longer participate in that sport, it’s incredibly exhausting. They become socially isolated very fast.

TV: What are some other ways concussions affect teen girls differently?

KS: Research has shown that if you are injured in the first two weeks of your menstrual cycle, that it tends to have a prolonged recovery as opposed to the second two weeks. [Girls] have factors of hormones. The general pediatrician hasn’t been trained to ask girls about their periods when they get brain injuries and [conduct] hormonal testing. If a woman is on birth control, it keeps her progesterone high. It’s a drop of progesterone after a brain injury in those first two weeks of the cycle, which normally wouldn’t happen, so it’s being on birth control that keeps that progesterone high.

TV: What were some of the symptoms you experienced when you were concussed?

Jessie Garcia: I would have blurry vision all the time. I would get cross-eyed. I got nauseous. I got a lot of headaches. I was very sensitive to light and things like that. I think a huge aspect that people haven't talked about [is] the mental health part of it, but I was just really depressed. I had negative thoughts afterward. My mood changed a lot. At the time, I didn’t realize how much it was connected to the injury until I started educating myself on it.

TV: What are some other ways that concussions can affect your brain?

JG: A lot of it has to do with ... behavior. I know people find themselves [acting] a little more brash or abrasive after getting a concussion. I don’t want to say that sometimes I’m slower, but it definitely affects my memory. I hate to say I feel slower than I did before, but that’s really how I do feel compared to how I was. I don’t feel like I’ve run at 100% anymore, which is a really crappy feeling. I try to feel proactive and keep brain health at the top of my mind now.

TV: A recent NPR story mentioned how on average, 20% of teenagers have had a concussion. Do concussions affect teens and kids differently than adults?

JG: Kids, for example, react very emotionally. Their reaction is that they’ll start crying. They don’t really verbalize the injury as much as someone else would. Then with older players, they have a tendency to want to hide their symptoms. We’re trying to break that cycle.

TV: What are some symptoms that teens who think they may have a concussion should go to a doctor or seek medical attention if they experience?

JG: Most [teen girls] are in school. They know what their routine is everyday. If they can't focus, can't remember things like they used to, their mood changes, and act differently after a hard hit, those are some pretty tell-tale signs something is not okay. Be cognizant of going into contact, whether you’re playing soccer or basketball or any sport or activity, even cheerleading or dancing. Am I imbalanced, dizzy, or fuzzy afterwards? Especially for teenagers, so much is focused on the game itself and returning to play. I think a huge aspect that people think about is returning to school and when it's okay to return to school. Just as much as you're worried about recovery for play time, you have to think about the recovery from school. Get your school involved in your recovery process.

Related: How Depression Affects Your Brain

How Concussions Affect Your Brain ... your-brain

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Emily Bruns

Post by greybeard58 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:40 pm

Bruns played hockey at Edina High School but a concussion she sustained her senior year prevented her from playing college.

Grant Standbrook was one of the architects behind the University of Maine’srise to men’s ice hockey prominence and the Black Bears’ two NCAA Division I championships. He was an assistant coach for 21 years at UMaine and the recruiting coordinator.

Now his granddaughter is going to try to help the UMaine women’s ice hockey team become an NCAA championship contender.

Emily Bruns, who has spent the past two years working with the National Hockey League’s Chicago Blackhawks, has been hired as an assistant coach along with former Lindenwood University (Missouri) men’s club hockey assistant Trey Flesch.

The 26-year-old Bruns, from Edina, Minnesota, is the daughter of Jill Standbrook and Joe Bruns, and spent a lot of time in the Bangor area while growing up attending hockey camps involving her grandfather.

“I’m really excited. The University of Maine was like an extended family for me. It’s very surreal to be coming back,” Bruns said.

Bruns worked in community relations with the Blackhawks and has coached players of all ages. She worked closely with Kevin Delaney, the founder of Delaney Hockey, which develops players of all different ages in the Chicago area.

“It was a great experience for me,” Bruns said.

“She has a pretty special hockey mind,” UMaine head coach Richard Reichenbach said. “She loves working with players and developing them.”

Bruns played hockey at Edina High School but a concussion she sustained her senior year prevented her from trying to play in college.

She attended Columbia College in Chicago and while trying to find a casual league to play in at a local rink, the rink manager invited her to coach in the youth program.

“(Grant) said I was going to love it and I should try it. I worked at the rink for five years, and it was a very good experience. And I coached a couple of girls teams in the area,” Bruns said.

She earned her degree, and after working with the Blackhawks returned to Minnesota before deciding to attend the American Hockey Coaches Association convention in Naples, Florida, to do some networking this past April.

That’s where she learned about the UMaine job opening.

She said her grandfather, a University of Maine Sports Hall of Fame inductee, was excited when he learned she was heading to UMaine. She said he has been a “huge influence” in her life and development as a coach.

“The big thing he has taught me is to learn the little details. That’s real important,” Bruns said. “He also told me to be a sponge. It’s always good to get multiple viewpoints and learn as much as you can from different people.”

Bruns said she was 5 years old when she began attending hockey clinics in Orono, and she looks forward to working with college players and a UMaine team that is coming off a dramatic turnaround season that saw the Black Bears nationally ranked for six weeks.

UMaine won a Hockey East playoff series for the first time, topping Boston University in three games in the quarterfinals. The Black Bears finished 19-14-5 overall, 11-9-4 in the conference after going 20-44-3 and 12-34-2 in the two previous years combined.

“I’m close in age with them so it will be more of a mentor relationship,” Bruns said.

One of her first stops upon her return may be to where she and her grandfather spent a lot of quality time.

“Pat’s Pizza,” she said.

UMaine Sports Hall of Famer Standbrook’s granddaughter named Black Bear assistant
Read more: ... assistant/

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Now’s the time to be extra patient and mindful

Post by greybeard58 » Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:07 am

"Now’s the time to be extra patient and mindful"

Val Carlisle
"Soon... I hope to be back playing again. I’ve played through many injuries and have suffered the consequences many times. This time I’m not pushing it and I’m waiting for the go ahead to play again. Concussions are not something to be messed with! I feel like I’m soooo close to getting back in the game again, so now’s the time to be extra patient and mindful to not rush it and take any chances.”

Michelle Lemoignan
I just went through this myself! Hope to see you back on the ice soon

You sound like a go-getter like me! My concussion forced me to take it easy (which was difficult to do! Haha). Good to hear you're resting though!

Omg I'm coming back from a concussion as well!!! Take care

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Re: concussions

Post by greybeard58 » Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:14 pm

Demonstrates the need for research into body contact beyond checking related issues

Are Rule Changes the Low-Hanging Fruit for Concussion Prevention in Youth Sport? ... le/2725044

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30% of NCAA concussions

Post by greybeard58 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:09 pm

30% of NCAA concussions show no symptoms until 30 minutes after game

The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics said today that recent college sports scandals have threatened not only the integrity of intercollegiate athletics but raised basic questions about the NCAA’s ability to prevent abuses, protect the rights of athletes, and clean up corruption.

At today’s fall meeting, NCAA President Mark Emmert told the Knight Commission, “We cannot go into the next basketball season without seeing fundamental change in the way college basketball is operating.”

Emmert acknowledged that the schools have a public trust problem. He said recent NCAA polling showed that nearly 80 percent of people believed “big universities put money ahead of their student-athletes,” and that nearly 70 percent of big schools are part of the problem, not the solution.

Knight Commission Sees Integrity of College Sports At Risk
Read more: ... athletics/

Other highlights from Knight Commission Forum on October 30th via Aspen Institute:

University of Michigan researcher Steve Broglio: Football has NCAA's 4th highest concussion rate behind wrestling, men’s/women's ice hockey.

Broglio: 30% of NCAA player concussions show no symptoms until 30 minutes after the game. Only 6% have loss of conscious.

Texas A&M’s Laboratory for Diversity in Sport’s George Cunningham: I’m not sure most countries want this model (sports associated with higher education vs European/Asian club model). Simply look at physical activity rates among adults to see the value of the club model.

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Parent Letter

Post by greybeard58 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:21 pm

Parent Letter

Letter to USA Hockey published with permission of parent:

"Dear USA Hockey,

On Saturday, my son was concussed by a former teammate/locker room bully, by a cross check to the back, into the boards.

My son’s head hit the glass hard enough, dropping him to the ice, leaving him dazed, and he had to be helped off the ice by his coach and one of his teammates.

The kid that did this got ejected and a one game suspension.

A One. Game. Suspension.

Care to know what my son got?

Here...the victim, the one you never mention...the one who is actually penalized by this egregious behavior:

*His headaches are continuous and bad enough to cause him to vomit. Nothing gets rid of the headache, only dulls the pain to the point where he can finally open his eyes and not feel sharp pains.

*He’s bed ridden, in a dark room with no visual or audio stimulation.

*He’s missing school, which for a high school freshman, is a big deal.

*He can’t do any homework because he’s restricted from doing anything that requires use of his senses.

*He has to see multiple doctors, go thru multiple series of tests and therapies.

*He cannot play hockey, the sport he lives and breathes, for the rest of the season and Spring, and maybe never again.

What do we, the parents get?

*We have to miss work to take him to his doctor appointments.

*We have to pay the mounting doctor bills.

*We have to watch our son suffer through this agony, listen to him cry because of the pain, and wonder if this will ever end.

*We have to worry about the long-term issues that will more than likely occur.

But that poor boy missed one game...because of YOUR rules.

At what point are you going to take checks from behind and boarding penalties seriously?

You leave it up to the state governing bodies instead of putting the onus on yourselves. At what point are you going to share with the hockey community the other side of what happens when your kid receives, or causes, a concussion?

A single game suspension for this is a joke; nothing but a slap on the wrist. You know that as well as I do. These kids aren’t stupid. They know what they’re doing when they make an illegal hit. It’s premeditated.

The hit on my son was 20 seconds into the game. 20 seconds.

This kid was a former teammate, had a personal vendetta and cross-checked my son, from behind, into the boards. And he only received a one game suspension.

When are you going to re-evaluate your penalty sanctions for offenses that cause unnecessary, serious injury?


Regards, Robin"
Parent of Bantam/U14 Major player in CSDHL ... 8014800211

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Injured spine and brain

Post by greybeard58 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:22 am

Injured spine and brain

Unique in many ways yet different in others
In many ways, Katie Abernathy is a typical hockey player.

But at the same time she's also very unique.

Abernathy's first name is a dead giveaway as to what makes her different. She's a female in a sport that is predominantly played by males. She's also the first girl in the history of Grand Blanc High School to play a position other than goalie on the boys hockey team.

Like most hockey players, Abernathy is willing to do whatever it takes to get on the ice.

For starters, she had to disobey her parents to earn a spot on her first boys hockey team four years ago. Abernathy's folks were concerned about the risk of injury and didn't want their daughter playing hockey.

So she secretly tried out for a boys team and when Abernathy made the final cut, her parents relented whey they heard what she had done.

But as her parents feared, Abernathy did indeed get hurt almost two years ago, but in true hockey fashion, she was determined to return to the ice -- even if she didn't suffer a typical injury.

No, this was much worse than getting a couple of stitches, breaking her nose or pulling a muscle.

Instead, Abernathy fractured her spine and suffered a traumatic head injury after taking a nasty fall while at a summer hockey camp on June 20, 2017.
Although paralysis was never a possibility, Abernathy had seizures for months. But now -- less than two years later -- she's wearing No. 28 for the Bobcats as they prepare to open the state tournament Tuesday, Feb. 26 vs. defending state champion Brighton at St. Mary's Athletic Complex in Orchard Lake.

Reaction to the diagnosis
Initially, Abernathy didn't think the injury was serious and neither did the coaches,. They were conducting drills when Katie and her younger brother, Gordie, were doing sprints near the boards.

In fact, rather than calling an ambulance after Katie fell, the coaches called her grandfather to pick Katie up at Flint Iceland Arenas and take her to a hospital for tests.

"When I got up, all that hurt was for me to breathe so I thought I had the wind knocked out of me and that I had a concussion," said Abernathy, now a 17-year-old senior. "I thought I was fine. Until they really told me, I was just kind of in denial. I didn't really think about it.

"It got serious when they called and said, 'Hey, you need to get back to the hospital right now.' They had done X-rays and sent me home because they just thought it was a broken rib. What they saw on the X-rays was that fracture and then they had to get a CAT scan and that was really scary. It wasn't until then that it got real for me.

"I was scared when they told me that I had broken my spine because I knew that could be a career-ending injury for a lot of people, but it was one of those things that none of my doctors, my parents, nobody ever said you can't play again. So it wasn't ever anything that weighed on me.

"Nobody ever let me see that side. They were like, 'We're going to get you back.’”

Predicting when it will rain
Abernathy later found out she was unconscious on the ice for between 30 seconds and a minute. She said she also suffered a seizure on the ice.

After undergoing the X-rays and CAT scan, Abernathy said doctors told her she had suffered a wedge fracture of her eighth thoracic vertebrae and eventually discovered she had also suffered an MTBI -- mild traumatic brain injury.

Surprisingly, Abernathy didn't need to undergo physical therapy for the back injury because doctors told her she was still producing enough stem cells that her body naturally healed the fracture.

"They said they had no clue how I healed as well as I did," she said. "I was supposed to have no stem cells because I was supposed to be old enough where I had none but it regenerated. I had stem cells that they didn't think I had.

"It helped the regrowth of the bone. It's not supposed to regrow. It's supposed to heal back together but it regrew a little bit. If it had gone differently I could have been paralyzed but luckily the way I braced, I went fetal, which you're not supposed to do. But because I did that (the vertebrae) actually broke toward my organs and not my spinal column.

"For two weeks, I couldn't walk. I was on bed rest. As it progressed, they started putting me into more physical activity. At about a month, I started walking distances and it was six months after I got hurt that they let me back on the ice because I healed amazingly.”

So far, there's only one lingering effect of the back injury.

"I can tell when it's going to rain," she said with a laugh. "The pressure changes and it hurts. That's it. It's pain but it's manageable. It's not anything horrible."
Today, she's been cleared to resume all activities and doesn't have to return for check ups with her spinal specialist.

'Walking' seizures
The MTBI presented a few more problems than the back injury.

Abernathy experienced what she called "walking seizures" because of the brain trauma she suffered when she crashed into the boards.

She didn't experience the type of symptoms a person would usually associate with a seizure such as shaking or convulsions. Instead, it was more subtle. She could carry on a conversation with somebody but it wasn't a typical verbal exchange.

"My brain would go into a beta wave mode where I could function completely but I wasn't processing things properly," she said. "It was considered a seizure because my brain wasn't working properly but physically I was fine. I just didn't process sometimes. It would mess with my memory a little.

"I could respond but it wouldn't be a very good conversation because I wasn't processing it very well. I couldn't drive while I had those but once they went away it was fine. They didn't want me to drive because they were afraid any impact could cause my spinal column to be compromised.

"It was seven months and I started driving.”

Now, Abernathy and her 3.95 grade-point average are preparing to attend college next fall at Michigan Tech, where she plans to study bio medical engineering.
Her brain is fine.

Convincing mom and dad
Abernathy grew up a hockey fan and watched NHL games on television with her father Paul, who is a coach for the Flint Junior Firebirds. They recently went to Little Caesars Arena in Detroit to watch a game between the U.S. and Canadian women's national teams and attended a Firebirds OHL game last weekend in Flint.

Although Paul is a coach, he and wife Andrea didn't want Katie to play hockey against boys because of the possibility of an injury.

But Katie, who wasn't happy that her brother Gordie was being allowed to play, was determined to get on the ice so she secretly attended cross-ice training sessions at Crystal Fieldhouse in nearby Burton before trying out for a boys team and making it -- unbeknownst to her parents.

She laughed when recalling the day she went home and told her parents she made the team and needed money to officially join.

After discussing it with his wife, Paul Abernathy said he and Andrea gave their blessing because Katie was so passionate about playing.

Then, she got hurt as mom and dad feared.

'A shock to the system'
"I was concerned," Paul Abernathy admitted. "Extremely, being that it was a head injury and spinal fracture. At first, I didn't really know the extent of her injuries. I thought she lost an edge (on her skates), had an injury and it would be a month or six weeks before she could get on the ice.

"I was thinking it wasn't that serious but once I found out it was more than just a sprain or a strain or a bump on the noggin, it was a shock to the system.”

When Katie was cleared to skate again, her parents had another discussion to decide whether they should allow her to return to playing the sport she loves so much.

They consulted with Katie's spinal specialist and neurologist, who both said Katie could play again, and their confidence eased Paul's concerns. After some prodding, Andrea gave her consent as well.

"The way Katie was and I was, it was 'OK, what do we have to do to get back on the ice?'" Paul said. "That was her passion and she was willing to do whatever it took to get back on the ice. My wife had more reservations than I did about letting her play but I was able to talk her into it.”

Earning her spot
This season marks Katie's fourth as a hockey player.

She spent one year playing against the boys at Crystal Fieldhouse before suiting up against girls the last two seasons. That included one season in Kalkaska -- a 175-mile drive from Grand Blanc -- where one of Paul's buddies started a girls league that Katie played in a couple of days a week.

She spent last year playing with a girls team in the Kensington Lake Activities Association but when Grand Blanc left that league for the Saginaw Valley, Abernathy decided to try out for the boys team.

"I want to show people that your gender doesn't determine what you can do and girls hockey isn't always the best choice for you," she said. "There's still a spot for you if you want it and Grand Blanc has shown that they're open to it.

"So for any girl that's coming up in Grand Blanc, there's a place for you if you want it.”

The Bobcats had some spots to fill after graduating 12 seniors last season but Grand Blanc coach Jon Lesser said Abernathy made the team on her own merit and wasn't given anything just to fill out the lineup.

"We started with a summer camp, which we do every year, and she came to the summer camp and to be honest she came in out of shape," he said. "She played down in Kensington Valley on the girls team and the only issue with having a girl on the (boys) varsity is girls can't hit there. So we're looking at a girl who is a little bit out of shape and really can't hit. That was at summer camp.

"Come winter tryouts, I think she had dropped 30 pounds and had been working out. When we called her in to take her, we said 'Talent wise, you're probably going to play fourth line and be limited but I hate to not bring you along because of how hard you've worked.' Everybody had seen how hard she worked. She said 'I'll take the spot.’

"We told her, 'Clearly, you made it on hard work. Just keep working.' She tells us she's shooting 50 to 100 pucks every night. When she's called on, she goes out and does what she needs to do.”

The biggest difference between playing vs. boys and girls
Abernathy, who changes into and out of her uniform in a separate locker room from the rest of the Bobcats, said she's been welcomed by her Grand Blanc teammates from Day 1.

None have displayed any issues or resentment with having a girl on the team and the other four 12th graders even put Katie in the middle of the senior photo they took last month.

What did the boys think of a girl trying out for their team?

"We weren't going to treat her any different," said captain Owen Walker. "She's just another person to try out. It's not that different. She's always supportive. She's just one of the other people. She always wants us to do the best we can.

"She's not afraid to lay the body. She'll hit people just like us.”

Added alternate captain Kevin LaHaie: " No matter what ice time she gets, she's always supportive.”

Indeed, the physical aspect of playing with boys is the biggest difference the 5-foot-7, 150-pound left wing has experienced when it comes to playing against boys rather than girls.

But she says opponents haven't taken any liberties with her just because of her gender. Perhaps the only thing that gives her away as a girl is the blonde pony tail sticking out from the back of her helmet.

She also welcomes the physical play.
"They don't really take cheap shots," she said. "There are always kids that are afraid to him me. They're like 'Oh, I don't want to hit the girl' and I kind of wish they would. Just treat me like everybody else. There's always a little bit of banter and I am a girl but they treat me the same as the guys.”

And she apparently gives as good as she gets when it comes to hitting.

"She did lay one guy out," LaHaie said.

Saying goodbye
The game vs. Brighton could mark the end of Abernathy's athletic career.

Michigan Tech doesn't have a women's hockey program although Abernathy has already made inquires about trying to get a club team started in the next few years.

She previously participated in power-lifting but had to give that up after injuring her back.

Brighton is an overwhelming favorite to knock off the Bobcats in the Division 1 regional opener and end Grand Blanc's season.

Brighton is ranked No. 4 in Division 1 and has put together a 12-11- record against a tough schedule while Grand Blanc is 8-15 after beating Southgate Anderson 3-1 in the regular-season finale.

Abernathy is still looking for her first point this season but she did get a nice reward against Southgate Anderson when she was put into the starting lineup on Senior Day.

"It was great," she said with a chuckle. "I did not cry. I was proud of myself. I held it together. But I probably will at our banquet and our last game. It's sad to see it end. But I'm glad it was with Grand Blanc.

"They've done a lot for me and I'm hoping to give back as much to them.”

Grand Blanc girl overcomes back, brain injuries to join boys hockey team
Watch the videos and read more: ... -team.html

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Moorhead's Searls

Post by greybeard58 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:15 pm

Moorhead's Searls fought back from a concussion to become a top defenseman
Written By
Chris Murphy
Feb 26th 2019 - 6pm.

Last season was supposed to be Nick Searls' time. He had been an alternate his sophomore hockey season, watching Moorhead make it to the state championship game.

There he was, as a junior, looking at getting to play in Hockey Day Minnesota and be part of a documentary with Moorhead's varsity boys hockey team. Only, when he wasn't looking, three games into the season, he was hit during a game against Brainerd.

Searls says the feeling was weird. He knew it was different than a normal hit. He watched the video later and said he looked ridiculous as he was stumbling around. He had a concussion, which ended up costing him his junior season.

"I came back and never really found my legs again until the end of the season," Searls said. "That was tough to watch the team with Hockey Day and the run they had. It was tough. I had just done that my sophomore year, sat on the bench as an alternate and watch. That whole year I was thinking next year I wanted to be where I was."

Moorhead's Nick Searls gets tied up with in Tuesday's hockey matchup against East Grand Forks at Moorhead Sports Center. Photo by Rick Westra
Moorhead's Nick Searls gets tied up with in Tuesday's hockey matchup against East Grand Forks at Moorhead Sports Center. Photo by Rick Westra
Searls is now on the top defensive line for No. 11 Moorhead. He will start against No. 18 Brainerd in Wednesday's Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 section championship game at 7 p.m. at Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minn.

"He was playing pretty regular and then he got that concussion," Moorhead coach Jon Ammerman said. "It wasn't an illegal check or anything, but he hit his head and it lingered. By the time he was fully healthy again, it was late January. By that time, you're kind of on a roll with the guys you have.

"He was the odd guy out unfortunately. He was on the outside looking in, not by anything of his doing. It's a great story of perseverance and sticking with it and now being rewarded in his senior year."

On Saturday, in the section semifinals, it was Searls going up against a Buffalo line that featured Minnesota commit Jake Braccini. Braccini had 61 points in 24 games. He finished his season with 61 points in 25 games in part to the defensive pairing of Searls and Luke Gramer.

"Saturday was the best game he's played," Ammerman said. "He was physical and smart with the puck. He's a really good complement to Luke. Luke gets up in the play and is offensive. Nick is a steady, calming aspect to that team."

Moorhead's Nick Searls rides Buffalo's Jake Braccini off the puck during the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 boys hockey semifinal game at the Moorhead Sports Center on Saturday, Feb. 23. David Samson / The Forum
The moment Searls knew hockey was for him was when he beat Brainerd to get to the state tournament in his first year of bantams. He first skated at 4 years old and tried other sports, but none were the same as playing hockey for him. His dad had even played high school hockey at Moorhead, but it was that moment of beating Brainerd that Searls remembers as the turning point for him and hockey.

"That was the most fun thing I had experienced up to that point," Searls said.

His happiest moment against Brainerd took a backseat to his worst moment last year against Brainerd when he got his concussion. He's hoping for a new moment to remember Wednesday.

"It's always fun to play them," Searls said. "It is a rivalry. A loss to Brainerd is different than a loss to any (Twin) Cities team. It's a game that's usually circled on the calendar."

Searls remembers the coaches calling him into the office a couple games after he came back from his concussion to tell him he would no longer be dressing on the varsity team. There would be a glimmer of hope here and there, but he never came back to varsity.

He decided to not allow that happen his senior season.

"That season ended and I thought about how it's going to take a lot of work to get to where I want to be for this season," Searls said. "I put in a lot of work over the summer and been pretty happy with this season so far. The step from my sophomore year to my junior year wasn't any different and that sucked to realize I didn't move up any spots. From last year to this year has been a huge step up and that's kind of cool." ... defenseman

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A Former Football Player Told Congress

Post by greybeard58 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:19 am

Former linebacker Chris Borland, who retired after one NFL season because of concerns about repetitive brain trauma, testified this afternoon at a hearing before the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. He was one of four witnesses to tell the subcommittee about ways corporations use disinformation to mislead the public on matters including climate change and public health. Borland was there to discuss how the football establishment manipulates the science of brain injuries. What follows is the prepared text of the statement he read to the subcommittee.

To the members of this committee, thank you for the privilege to testify today to discuss the nature of industry’s manipulation of science and policy as it pertains to brain injury in football.

My name is Chris Borland. I was an All-American linebacker at the University of Wisconsin. In 2014, my first year in the National Football League, I led the San Francisco 49ers in tackles.

I decided to walk away from the game of football after my rookie season in the NFL.

While an active player in the NFL, I spent six months studying the available research on the ramifications of repetitive brain trauma. In relating what I found in the research to my own past experience with brain injury and to the demands of my job, I felt it was in the best interest of my personal health to stop playing football immediately.

Per a 2014 NFL actuary, 28 percent of the league’s players will suffer from cognitive impairment. I had a history of brain injury and played an especially dangerous position as a middle linebacker. Personal experience is important in deciphering such data.

Since leaving football in 2015, I have advocated for players and families that live with the consequences of brain injury.

I’ve gained a keen insight into the failings of industry-funded research. Today, we continue to see industry-funded science misrepresenting the reality of what football players (as well as athletes in other violent games) experience in their sport.

While much of the focus with brain injury research in football has been on the NFL, I would like to highlight how NCAA research into concussion is inherently flawed and why the NCAA fails to portray an accurate risk of brain damage for athletes competing under their organization.

In 2014, the Department of Defense and NCAA collaborated to create what they call “The Grand Alliance,” a $30 million initiative to study concussion. Under the Grand Alliance, a program was launched dubbed the CARE Consortium. CARE is an acronym for concussion assessment, research, and education. In the words of the NCAA and Department of Defense, the Care Consortium “serves as the scientific and operational framework for the Concussion Research Initiative of the Grand Alliance.”

To date, $64 million has been poured into The Care Consortium. There have been 40,000 athletes studied, and the NCAA and Department of Defense report to have captured 3,300 concussions.

Due to disincentivization in reporting concussions that I understand well as a former Big Ten linebacker, I believe the figure of 3,300 concussions flawed to the point of being unusable. My intimate relationship with this research further bolsters my personal experience.

The University of Wisconsin is a member institution in the Care Consortium. I have played with many men that were participants in the study. I know that most of these men appear in the research as having never sustained a concussion. That is, they have never reported sustaining a concussion.

In my experience in football (which is not unique to that of my friends and teammates) symptoms of concussion, whether it be dizziness, tinnitus, imbalance, or others, were weekly occurrences during the season.

The NCAA and Department of Defense routinely fail to acknowledge when sharing Care Consortium data, that an estimated 1/8 to 1/20 concussions is actually reported.

A second glaring omission is that concussion is not believed by neuropathologists to be solely instrumental in brain diseases like Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Focusing only on concussion ignores the repetitive subconcussive hits to the head that football players experience, and that are believed to contribute to neurodegeneration.

To be clear, I feel The Care Consortium does tremendous work researching concussion and developing protocols for those that have been diagnosed.

My concern is that most of us athletes fall through the cracks. The Care Consortium data fails to take into account that the vast majority of concussions go undiagnosed.

The Care Consortium focus on concussion does not capture what may be at the heart of the problem with brain injury in football, repetitive subconcussive hits.

A true scientific and operational framework for concussion would include explicit acknowledgment that players so rarely report the injury.

A genuine inquiry into brain damage from football must include mention of subconcussive hits.

With The Care Consortium, the NCAA and Department of Defense have done a good job studying reported concussions. The Care Consortium has done a better job at distracting athletes and the public by excluding vital information and appropriate context.

I deeply appreciate the opportunity to share my experience in football, with research, and as an advocate for former players. I’ll eagerly and happily answer any and all questions. Thank you! ... 1832902014

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Proceedings from the Ice Hockey Summit III:

Post by greybeard58 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:12 pm

Proceedings from the Ice Hockey Summit III: Action on Concussion

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New study of HS students

Post by greybeard58 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:14 pm

New study of HS students

Conclusions: Students who experience a concussion may be at increased risk for poor mental health outcomes, including suicide attempts (3 times greater risk). Psychological evaluation following a concussion should complement medical evaluation and treatment..

Adolescent Concussion and Mental Health Outcomes: A Population-based Study.
New study at:

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Kyle Okposo concussion

Post by greybeard58 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:19 pm

Sabres' Kyle Okposo diagnosed with another concussion
By JOHN WAWROW, AP Hockey Writer Feb. 19, 2019 Updated: Feb. 19, 2019 10:30 a.m.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Sabres forward Kyle Okposo has sustained his third concussion in less than three years.

The team announced the diagnosis on its Twitter account Tuesday, a day after Okposo was sent home for follow-up medical tests. The 30-year-old Okposo was hurt Friday, when he was felled by a punch to the face during a fight with New York's Tony DeAngelo in the third period of a 6-2 loss to the Rangers.

Okposo did not return to play against the Rangers, but was cleared to travel with the Sabres to open their three-game trip at New Jersey on Sunday. He did not play against the Devils, and returned to Buffalo while the Sabres traveled to Florida to play the Panthers on Tuesday night.

This is the latest in string of concussions for the 12th-year player.

He missed the final two weeks of the 2017-18 season and spent nearly a week in a hospital after sustaining a concussion during what he called a routine hit in practice. The effects led to Okposo losing a considerable amount of weight and having difficulty sleeping.

He also missed three games last March after sustaining a concussion following a collision with Ottawa's Bobby Ryan. ... 627586.php

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