Loyola player in critical condition

Dons' Brooks is injured making a tackle in win over Georgetown Prep

Football

High Schools

September 26, 2004|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

ROCKVILLE - Loyola junior defensive back Van Brooks was listed in critical condition last night at Maryland Shock Trauma Center after being injured yesterday in the Dons' 30-3 victory at Georgetown Prep.

Brooks was injured making a tackle as his head collided with the leg of a running back. He appeared to be motionless for about 25 minutes before being carried by stretcher into an ambulance.

"[Brooks] told me he couldn't move any part of his body," said junior linebacker Tony Hamlett, who stood near Brooks shortly after the collision. "When we heard that, we just came together as a team and just prayed for him."

Paramedics arrived on the scene after about 15 minutes, stabilizing Brooks and leaving his helmet on to prevent further injury. He was then driven to an end zone to await the helicopter transport, and was in the air about 45 minutes after suffering the injury. His mother, Shelly, was aboard.

Kathy Ross, a spokeswoman at the shock trauma unit in Baltimore, said last night that Brooks was in critical condition. Neither Loyola team trainer Shawn Hendi nor an unidentified team doctor would comment. They referred questions to Loyola coach Brian Abbott.

"He made some progress, showed some movement in his fingers, but they stabilized him. That was the most important thing," Abbott said. "Van's a wonderful kid. I just tried to talk to Van. You never know with these things."

Before the game's restart, more than 30 Loyola fans recited The Lord's Prayer.

Brooks, who also made his debut on offense yesterday as a tailback, ran for a 7-yard touchdown just before halftime.

Quarterback/linebacker Brady Smith led his emotionally charged teammates for the remainder of the game. He rushed for 102 of the No. 1 Dons' 152 yards, including an earlier spectacular 18-yard touchdown. He was 12-for-16 passing for 187 yards, with scores of 14 and 45 yards to Bobby Lennon and Casey Creaney.

Smith and Creaney, a linebacker and defensive back, respectively, also keyed the defense for the Dons (4-0), which prevented the Little Hoyas (0-3) from reaching the end zone for the first time this season.

Said Hamlett: "We did it for Van."

"[Brooks' injury] is really scary," Smith said. "We'll just continue to hope that he's doing well and continue to keep praying for him."

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