Friendship that helped found Ganesha High soccer to be honored: A story of soccer, friendship and loss (1.17.18):
One morning last January, a 57-year-old man named Kip Keough decided enough time had passed since he had seen his longtime friend. It was 9 a.m. He drove two hours south from Orange County to Chula Vista. It had been about 20 years since he stood face to face with Ed Lopez, then 59, his former soccer teammate at Ganesha High School, Mt. San Antonio College, Fullerton College and FC San Antonio. Circumstances had pulled the Pomona natives apart, and now they were about to reel them back in ways neither had expected. Keough had heard through word of mouth that Lopez had developed Stage 4 liver cirrhosis. He needed a liver transplant and could die at any moment. Keough stepped up to Lopez’s wooden door on his two-story home and rang the doorbell. Lopez opened the door and then closed it immediately. The shock was so sudden it jolted every bone in his body, and he didn’t know what to do. Lopez broke into a huge smile and opened up the door again. The pair laughed and laughed. They couldn’t have known that morning that Lopez would survive and Keough would not. (READ FULL STORY HERE).
California athletes are at risk: Crisis with athletic trainers (11.14.17):
Javier Venegas, a 21-year-old distance runner for Golden West College, suddenly collapsed on the track one afternoon in late January. He wasn’t breathing. He didn’t have a pulse. Fortunately, Pat Frohn, a certified athletic trainer for Golden West, plus a Long Beach State athletic-training student, Tori Mulitauaopele, were in the Athletic Training Room and were called out to the track. They began CPR. It took two shocks from the automated external defibrillator (AED) to return Javier’s heartbeat. The EMTs arrived and Venegas was rushed to the emergency room, where he was put into a medically induced coma. He is now recovered from what was determined to be a heart arrhythmia. “If I wasn’t here, if there was no athletic trainer on staff, if this was any high school in the area?” Frohn said, “Javier would be dead.” California has more than 800,000 high-schoolers playing sports, yet the state does not require schools to have athletic trainers at practices or games—and very few do. Just 25 percent of public high schools employ a full-time athletic trainer, according to CIF data from 2016-17 (athletic directors from 1,406 schools self-reported—an 88.6 percent rate). Even more troubling? California is the only state that does not regulate the profession of athletic training. That means that anyone can call themselves an athletic trainer, regardless of whether they are certified; regardless of whether they possess the educational qualifications, clinical experience or medical knowledge to practice. This puts student-athletes at enormous risk. Among those working as athletic trainers in California high schools, 16.2 percent are not certified, according to CIF data. “It’s a level of fraud,” said Brian Gallagher, director of sports medicine/certified athletic trainer at Harvard Westlake. (READ FULL STORY HERE).