Football captain Michael Gillespie concussed


Dan Slater

Michael Gillespie is running the ball. He is in his offensive position, running back, versus Manchester West on 9/21 . He’s “always in position” according to Hillard, which is why he has so many receptions.

Alec MacEachen, News Editor

Senior and captain of the football team, Michael Gillespie ‘19, was concussed last Friday in a home game against Souhegan. He is a four year varsity veteran, and one of the cornerstones of the team.“Michael is a hard person to replace,” says Kelly Willet, ‘19, varsity cheerleader who attended the game. The injury  occurred during the first quarter, and is speculated to be the reason the HB Cavaliers lost 35-28.

Gillespie recalls that Souhegan had the ball, they ran a screenplay, threw short, and when he went to tackle the receiver,as Gillespie puts it, he was “blindside blocked, and went facemask to facemask with him.” Gillespie remembers the play because the correct form of tackling involves getting low in order to avoid head injuries, like concussions.

“It was one of those hits everyone cringes at,” claims Willet. She later went on to describe the hit as, “horrible.” After seeing the block, and Gillespie standing up holding his head, the referees “immediately called two five, which is Michael’s sub,” according to Willet. Getting off the field Gillespie reportedly “ripped off his helmet and kneeled down,” she added..  

Four days into the concussion, Gillespie claimed that it was a “mild” concussion and only missed one game versus Alverin on Friday 10/19. Despite the loss of Gillespie, The team managed to squeak by with a 33-22 win, to improve to a 6-3 record.  

Gillespie advises that all eyes turn to Joe Messina, who will be replacing him. Gillespie claims that Messina will really “step up”, and has full faith in him. Willet backed up Gillespie by saying, “I’ve seen Joe grow a lot this year,” and she agrees that he’s the player to watch..

During his previous concussion, Gillespie thought about the dangers of long term brain damage and college football. Gillespie has some college offers, but made the decision to stop playing after this year prior to the concussion. One of the reasons is the fear of CTE, or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, which is a degenerative brain disease, found in those with repeated head injuries. According to the New York Times, out of 111 NFL brains that were examined after death, 110 had CTE.

Anyone who becomes concussed should “rest up.” “Sleep is good,” according to Ronnie Hillard, football player and senior, who has recently come off a concussion himself.

Mental rest is also crucial according to Gillespie returned to the field Monday 10/22 for his first full contact practice since getting hurt.