Ricky Dowdy of High Point Central HS should be saying some extra prayers this week after seeing the tragic end in the Matt Gfeller Story from over the weekend.
After seeing the video on the WS Reynolds-Page game at the WXII TV 12 web site, I couldn’t help but think back to that day last May at Grimsley’s Jamieson Stadium.
When I saw the video of the game in which Matt Gfeller was critically injured, I kept thinking, I’ve seen something like this before.
The vivid memory of the Emergency Medical Service vehicle was in my mind and then it came to me. The scene at Winston-Salem Reynolds was very similar to what I saw at Grimsley in the 7 on 7 scrimmage finals back in May.
It was Dudley vs. High Point Central in the championship game and there was Ricky Dowdy, the big defensive player for HPC and he was playing hard against the Dudley Panthers and there’s nothing wrong with that. In this game which is offense vs. defense, Dowdy, who has already verbally committed to N.C. State for 2009, was not wearing a helmet. There was not a player on the field wearing a helmet.
The game in 7 on 7, is offense versus defense, and since Dudley did not bring their helmets, the game went on without anyone wearing a helmet. The players were in shorts and “T” shirts and the game is tag but these kids can’t help but hit, it’s in their nature. Helmets are always required because the game can get rough.
On this Saturday in May the game went on and Ricky Dowdy got hurt. There was a major collision while he was in pass coverage and he ran into the receiver and his own teammate collided with Dowdy. Dowdy was down and wasn’t getting up. He bit his lip and was bleeding and he was suffering from a concussion as his head hit the ground HARD.
The Emergency Medical Technicians were called in and they had me help them roll Dowdy to the truck on the stretcher. He came out OK after a stay at the local Greensboro hospital. This could have been a lot worse and the whole scene that time around could have possibly been avoided.
Ricky Dowdy needs to be thankful and the group that put on the 7 on 7’s that Saturday, the NFLPD(National Footall League Player Development) group needs to again re-evaluate what happened that day in late May at Jamieson Stadium.
It all scares you when you see the EMT trucks and know it could have been fatal for Dowdy and we continue to keep the Gfeller family in our prayers. This may all seem stark and out of place but it makes you re-assess everything you have seen before and try to be better prepared for what is coming at you next.