By: Roxy Carr
As the varsity lacrosse season approaches, sophomore Jakob Feldman is easing back into playing after suffering from a concussion. Following the head injury caused by an incident on the field, Feldman wasn’t allowed to engage in any contact sports for months.
“This guy from the other team and I bumped heads when we were both reaching for the ball,” Feldman said. “I felt pretty dizzy at first, but brushed it off, not thinking anything of it until I started losing awareness of my surroundings and lost consciousness.”
Feldman said he uses his injury to motivate him to be more successful when he plays lacrosse. He makes sure his helmet is always fastened correctly, and avoids using his head as a defense tactic.
“My mom wasn’t very ecstatic about me returning back to lacrosse,” Feldman said. “I promised her I would be more careful this season, and she bought it.”
Feldman’s teammate, sophomore Paul Salvaggio, visited Feldman in the hospital during his recovery. When he visited Feldman at the hospital, Salvaggio brought Feldman his favorite snacks and a card that was signed by all of the players on their team.
“I tried as best as I could to speed up his recovery and help him feel better,” Salvaggio said. “I owe it to him for all he’s done for me as a friend and teammate.”
Salvaggio said that without Feldman playing, the team hasn’t been winning as often as it was. Even though Salvaggio wants Feldman to play again, Salvaggio sympathizes for Feldman and wants him to get better.
“He’s one of the best players on our team,” Salvaggio said. “The rest of the season wasn’t the same without him playing alongside me.”
Varsity lacrosse coach Emilio Loeza said that when a player gets hurt, they usually try persuading him into letting them join the game. Loeza always denies these requests, following doctor’s orders instead of his player’s wishes. However, when Feldman wasn’t begging to return, Loeza knew it was a serious injury.
“Even though it can be very disappointing when one of my players is forced to sit out due to an injury. My player’s full recovery is of utmost importance, if everyone is in favor of a fully functioning and winning team,” Loeza said.
Loeza said that most parents don’t realize how dangerous lacrosse can be, as it is a contact sport. Head injuries, broken bones and sprained joints are the most common wounds among the boys varsity team.
“Before signing up for a sport, kids and parents should do their research,” Loeza said. “All sports can cause injury, and those injuries could potentially lead to lifelong pain or other chronic consequences.”
Feldman said his injury has increased his appreciation and dedication to lacrosse. Feldman said he plays harder now because he knows that he was lucky his doctor allowed him to continue playing.
“The injury scared me into realizing that I love playing lacrosse,” Feldman said. “I would be devastated if I was unable to play again.”