It was a scary scene at the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals Monday Night Football game.
“At first you think head injury, but then after watching it, you see the hit to the chest and you think heart, which is never a good thing,” said Mountain View High School quarterback Conner Crum.
“You know I think It would be every coach’s, parent’s, and team’s worst nightmare,” said Mountain View High School head football coach Brian Crum. “To have a life-threatening injury on the field during a game or practice.”
Damar Hamlin, the 24-year-old Buffalo Bills safety, went into cardiac arrest following a terrifying collapse.
“It really showed how much the players really cared about the game and also each other and how much of a team sport it is because they pan around and you seen all those guys crying, you know what I mean?” said Mountain View football player Deakon Looney. “Just really involved and a crazy, scary incident that just sucks, man.”
As of Tuesday night, Hamlin was in critical condition at a Cincinnati hospital.
“It just makes your mind race as a head coach and someone in charge of young men about, gosh, how do you react and are you prepared for something like that,” said Brian Crum.
He says all coaches through the OSAA go through training and tests on health and safety before the season begins, and for his program, they try and have refresher courses every year.
“One of the things we were smart on is I wanted an AED with us at all times in practice,” he said. “We have four or five in the building, but reality is if you don’t get to a player or coach with a cardiac arrest in three to four minutes with them going down. There are times when CPR and rescue breathing isn’t enough.”
The accident had other local coaches like Judd Stutzman with Madras think about trying new safety training.
“I have had other coaches tell me, hey we do worst-case scenario type things that are planned,” said Stuttzman. “Kind of as a reactional thing. Have someone run and get the AED’s, perform the proper counts, those types of things. So, it might be something I look more into doing per se.”
Looney says the injury did make him think about scenarios that could happen to him or his teammates but never thought about detouring from the game.
“I definitely think that it is something to think about,” Looney said. “Anything can happen at any time on the field, and you always have to be ready for that, but it just shows how much we care about each other, that connection.”
You can donate to Hamlin’s toy drive GoFundMe here.