"It's a crazy world, so sports and athletics and music can be a form of escapism."
― Eddie Vedder
Overall Health and Concussions in Our Athletes
By Zach Wargo 20'
With the NFL and many star athletes in sports getting injured this season, it is affect the way how sports is changing, and the importance of knowing the risks of getting multiple concussions, injuries, and reminding us that we cannot play sports forever. With recent season ending injuries from Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, Texans Quarterback Deshawn Watson, Bears tight end Zach Miller, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, over the course of the long 17 week NFL season, even including Gallup High Senior, Journey Gillson involved in a hard fall earlier this month during a basketball game, as not to forget Boston’s center Gordon Hayward suffering a gruesome, and season ending injury on opening night.
What is CTE?
CTE is only a disease that can be recognized when the person has passed, the brain disease slowly spreads throughout the brain, as it kills brain cells. Concussions are the main cause of this disease, as multiple concussions can cause memory loss, and dizziness with many other symptoms. The cause of CTE is due to many and multiple hits to the head. CTE has been found in football players, boxers, hockey players, soccer players, and even our military veterans.
Over the past 15 years, CTE has taken many star and hall of fame football players, the first coming in 2002, Mike Webster, a star center for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970’s. The deaths of these football players have increased slowly, as most recently former New England Patriots Tight End Aaron Hernandez suffered from stage 4 CTE, the worst ever found in a human brain. After a football player retires, they will most likely suffer from headaches, dizziness, short-term memory, suicidal thoughts, mood changes, difficulty sleeping, and many other symptoms from this brain disease.
Football and Concussions
Earlier this NFL season in week 4, Green Bay Packers Wide receiver Devante Adams suffered a Concussion in the 3rd quarter from Chicago Linebacker Danny Trevathan, only to knock him out, and his mouth piece. The Crowded was filled with boo’s and filled with shock as Devante Adams was not moving for five minutes. In a Week 13 matchup Steelers Linebacker Ryan Shazier went for a tackle, only to be left on the field not being able to get up or move his legs. He would later be carried off by a stretcher, putting him on season ending IR as he needed back surgery, putting his career in jeopardy. Concussions have been a problem in the NFL for multiple years, with lawsuits, and more former players being examined for CTE.
A recent and surprising study found that CTE was found in 99% of deceased NFL players brains, which examined 110 out of 111 people. This study caused young football players to retire and go into another job field. CTE is a major problem in football, with young kids being exposed to concussions when their brain is still developing. The NFL has tried many things to prevent concussions, which is a work in progress at this moment. In 2015 a Will Smith movie called “Concussion” featured Mike Webster, and Junior Seau suffering from CTE, and how deadly the effect can be on former players. The movie showed how CTE develops into the brain, and how it can affect players after they retire.
Gallup’s Cross Country Runners Regional Recap
By Zach Wargo 20'
Shortly after Gallup’s runners competes at state, their season was not done at all, with two more races. Many of Gallup’s varsity runners trained after state, and went to Casa Grande, Arizona, on November 18th, and finished the season at Mt Sac, on December 2nd. More than 1000 runners competed in both competitions, as Gallup’s own represented their school and city. The runners from Gallup were Seniors, Hunter Livingston, Jessica Ramirez, Wacey Begay, Brandon James, Ilijah Lester, and Taylor Benally Junior, Demetri Begay. Sophomore, Katelyn Thompson, Cameron Benally and Freshmen, Celine Nez.
On November 18th, nine runners from Gallup High competed at Nike Cross Southwest Regionals, in Casa Grande, Arizona. The race was one of eight Regional competitions across the country. The boys medium school race had 259 runners, with seven from Gallup. First runner for Gallup was Junior Demetri Begay with a time of 16:57, then followed Senior Shawn Mccraith who ran a 18:21, then Brandon James with a time of 18:37, followed by Ilijah Lester with a time of 19:00, then Wacey Begay with a time of 19:13. Junior Cameron Benally came in next with a time of 19:43, and Taylor Benally with a time of 24:45. In the girls Medium school race contained 252 runners, including two of our own. Senior and State placer Jessica Ramirez came in 12th place with a time of 18:45, while Freshmen Celine Nez ran a personal best with a time of 20:47.
Two weeks later, after Thanksgiving break, eight Gallup runners traveled west to Mt. Sac in California for Foot Locker West Regionals. This race was much harder and had many more runners than Nike Regionals with big hills and a tougher terrain. For the boys Junior, Demetri Begay came in 82nd, with a time of 18:15 out of 346 runners in the Junior race. For the Senior boys race, Brandon James came in at 19:49, after that was Wacey Begay who ran a 20:15, then was Ilijah lester with a time of 20:54. For the Senior Girls race, Jessica Ramirez came in 4th place out of 209 runners, with a time of 20:02, while Hunter Livingston came in at 140th place with a time of 26:01. Sophomore Katelyn Thompson placed 154th out of 261 runners, with a time of 24:39, while Freshmen Celine Nez placed 84th out of 190 runners in the freshmen race with a time of 23:08.
The past two races marked the end of the cross country season for the Gallup runners, who will prepare for track season in the following months, which starts in mid-February. Congratulations to all the Gallup High Runners who represented us as a school in Casa Grande and Mt. Sac in Arizona and California.
Lady Bengals Finish Runner Up in Tournament
To cap off the tournament, would be Gallup and Bel Air, a team from Texas that no one really knew much about. Bel Air had taken an early 12-2 lead in the first four minutes of the game, then Gallup ended the 1st quarter with a 22-14 run, only being down by two at the end of the 1st quarter. Early in the second quarter the lady Bengals would get off to a fast start again, taking their first lead and maintaining it, going 6/7 from the free throw line, and knocking down two 3’s late in the 1st half. Senior Journey Gillson would later exit the game suffering a concussion after taking a hard foul late in the second half. Bel Air and Gallup were both in foul trouble to start the 2nd half with the score being 44-39.
The start of the second half was a change of tempo, with less fouls being called on both sides and a rare zero free throws attempted made the 3rd quarter intense, quick, and was filled with energy. The third quarter consisted of two three pointers, and plenty of field goals, with the score being 55-52 going into the 4th quarter. Bel Air started the 4th quarter quickly, with Gallup without Journey Gillison and McKleigh Begaye, they showed signs of fatigue. Gallup only shot ⅙ from the free throw line, and got outscored 17-8 in the 4th quarter, losing 69-63. The Lady Bengals suffered their first lost of the season, going 4-1, entering the Artesia Tournament, December 7-9.
Lady Bengals Total Points Free Throws Attempted/Made
Ashley Antone: 18 Points 0/3
Amanda Mitchel: 8 Points 2/3
Journey Gillson: 2 Points 0/0
Ashia Smith: 1 Point 1/2
Hanna Toledo: 14 Points 4/5
Lanae Notah: 3 Points 0/0
Leona Smith: 16 Points 4/6
Total: 63 Points 8/18 44% Percent
Bel Air Total Points Free Throws Attempted/Made
Andrey Bombardello: 12 Points 5/6
Shelly Ross: 10 Points 0/3
Blanca Avalos: 12 Points 5/6
Ashley Hernandez: 11 Points 5/8
Myra Hernandez: 2 Points 0/0
Sonic Soto: 0 Points 0/2
Isabela Sodita: 20 Points 1/4
Total: 69 Points 16/28 57% Percent