Mighty Michael Doherty
Doctors replaced the broken C5 vertebrae of junior Michael Doherty early Saturday morning just hours after a hit rendered him unconscious during the second quarter of the Wolves’ 44-14 Division I playoff victory against Shaw. According to Coach Ken Sears, the prognosis is “a lot better than what they thought initially” and that “the surgery went well and there was no severing of the spinal cord. It’s now just a waiting game to see if he gets his feeling back.”
The injury occurred when as a St. Paul’s defensive player attempted to make a tackle and “knocked a Shaw player into Michael,” Sears said. “He was in great position, his head was up; it was more one of those things where his head snapped back. He went down and just wasn’t expecting it. …
“When I saw him go down, I just had that feeling, and that’s why I ran out there. As a coach, that’s your biggest fear. It’s always terrible when kids get hurt. You feel the pain for them. When you see that, you always fear paralysis or even death, and that’s why you teach them the fundamentals. You coach them up right, and sometimes freak things just happen.”
There was a flag on the play for a personal foul on the Eagles, however, Sears said it was called for something away and was not related to Doherty’s injury.
“I couldn’t say enough about the Salesian (Shaw) priest who was right there on the spot,” he said. “He talked to Michael and offered prayers, the Shaw staff was first class, the Shaw fans were first class. There was nothing negative said, and the flag on the play had nothing to do with the play.”
The injury Doherty suffered is similar to the one New Orleans Saints cornerback Delvin Breaux went through in a high school game 10 years ago while he attended McDonogh 35. Breaux recovered, and although he was not able to play at LSU, which offered him a scholarship, he eventually returned to the field – making his way to the NFL via semi-pro football, the Arena League and the Canadian Football League.
Sears said Doherty will be monitored closely, and he’ll eventually have to go through intense physical therapy. He also said Doherty’s family and his staff are grateful for the concern shown from coaches, school administrators and fans across the metro area.
“Going through the texts and the emails that my whole staff and myself have received, along with our players, we’re just humbled, really,” Sears said. “Prayers and support have come not just from the St. Paul’s community, but from fellow district coaches, players, the police chief, you name it. …
“I thought our kids have responded well, because sometimes that can go either way. Kids can in a funk, but they were great. They are focused on what they need to do, and they want to play hard for Michael. There was a line out the door of our kids who want to see him, and we’re all praying for him that everything is going to be all right.”
Mighty Michael Doherty Story
The Moore Family, Brian, Kimberly, Warner, Courtlyn, and Lauryn, are praying for Michael and his family. We hope Michael has a great recovery.
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