BREAKING: Wrestling Head Injury Issue (UPDATE x2)


Although I have been away with the birth of my second son (third child), I have been keeping tabs on the sports universe, especially with state wrestling championships.  In Illinois,  two of the kids at our high school qualified (one in the Finals).  It has been great to follow them through the internet, text messages and chat boards.

What I have learned though this as well is The Concussion Blog has followers and people looking at head injuries in a different light.  I received a couple of texts last night telling me that there was a wrestler that had been “thrown” on his head and was hurt.  It was deemed illegal and there was a two-minute recovery period for him to continue, and he did not.

One person, a coach who wants to remain anonymous, we will call him Tommy Swords, sent me an email length text with this report:

A kid was dropped on his head and from where we were and the reports later he was knocked out.  He came to and the medical staff ruled he could not continue.

So I did some digging on the situation by going to wrestling bulletin board illinoismatmen.com and found a thread about the quarterfinals that happened to make note of the incident and this comment from a poster called “wrestling observer”:

I saw the Hoselton match and it looked like Cain had him upside down and lost control of him. His neck really got tweaked…Hope he is good to go tomorrow

The wrestler is Andy Hoselton of Prairie Central High School and the same poster then made the following comment;

Cain handled himself like a gentleman…I heard from a direct source Hoselton was out for a few seconds

The bold is my emphasis on the post because that confirms what Coach Tommy Swords had relayed to me.  This brings up a few things in my mind.   Again, I WAS NOT THERE, but if in fact he lost consciousness, this would be indicative of a brain function disruption, and Coach Swords and another source relayed to me that the “talk” in the coaches area was that he was “out of it” in terms of knowing what was truly going on.  A great job by the medical staff to stop him from wrestling, however there were questions whether he would continue the next day in the semifinals.

WAIT ONE SECOND, if there was enough trauma to “knock out” a wrestler and have anecdotal reports of “not being all there”, there should be NO WAY he should continue, in my mind.  Granted, in Illinois you can get cleared by a physician to continue on the following day.  I thought there was no way possible this could happen, especially with what we know now.  This brings me to the next part of the story…

Coach Swords texted me this afternoon with this;

So kid gets knocked out cold last night…  cleared to wrestle today…  gets slammed on his head…  looks dazed…  still wrestling…

WHAT IN THE WORLD!!!  Coach Swords went on to say that in the match he was witnessing, the athletic trainers again used what little time they had to evaluate the injury of being slammed on his head today.  And both times he was allowed to continue.

It has since become a Grabovski type situation since he did prevail in his semifinal match and will be wrestling later tonight for a State Championship.

At what point do we start to question what people are doing, including doctors?  I trust the athletic trainers on-site, as they are there by selection of the IHSA (IL HS Association), but during this very stressful and competitive time I wonder how much a kid, coach, or parent will listen to the trainer with them only one match away from a chance at glory.

We will continue to follow this story as it breaks, and I will attempt to bring you more information.  It is my intention to interview as many people I can find, and see if they are willing to talk.  We can only hope that Hoselton will recover from this incident, and that if he is having any symptoms he lets people know, no matter the perception of the situation.

UPDATE 6:33pm CST: I finally was able to get a hold of one of the high school wrestling coaches that I work with and he told me that this situation has been talked about and not in a positive light.  He told me not to use him or his information for fear of retribution.  What I can tell you is that there are MANY coaches that don’t understand how this happens, especially after all the information they have been given by people like me.

He is set to wrestle in the Championship match at the 160lb. weight class.  I will be getting a report on that.

UPDATE 9:37pm CST: Hoselton won the Class A State Championship at 160lbs.  I was able to find the feed of the match and he did not suffer any incidents in this match.  I will try to follow up with anyone I can get to talk with me about this situation.

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9 thoughts on “BREAKING: Wrestling Head Injury Issue (UPDATE x2)

  1. Paul LaDuke, ATC February 20, 2011 / 13:51

    Unfortunately he won the state championship which will justify all the risks that he took.

    It is called “The too much invested to quit syndrome”.

    This story makes me sick. We have place accomplishment in sport at way to high of a priority. “Win at all costs” is not what high school sports should be about, but the truth of the matter is that it is the mantra.

    • AndroidWeevil February 21, 2011 / 08:11

      Is this kid still alive? This has been going on for a long time. Do you know of any fatalities?

      • Dustin Fink February 21, 2011 / 15:49

        In the sport of wrestling not a fatality but this occurred… https://theconcussionblog.com/2011/02/14/wrestling-concussion-aftermath/
        In football there have been many deaths due to SIS, and SIS can occur even on a playground… Its more than if his is “still alive”, it is about his health and brain that makes us concerned. As well as who would clear an individual with known head injuries and a loss of consciousness…

  2. concerned parent February 21, 2011 / 13:22

    I think this young man had a concussion during football season this year.

  3. hwkfan March 8, 2011 / 13:22

    Mr. Hoselton did not receive a concussion during football season. He missed some games to a laceration on his face.

    He was also not near “out of it” on Saturday when the second drop occured. It was more of a neck injury than the first one. Say what you want, but no kid who is 40-0 and a state runner-up from the previous year is going to tell their coach they can’t wrestle, unless they feel it is a serious injury. Obviously Andy did not and continued on to a state title.

    • Dustin Fink March 8, 2011 / 13:29

      Thank you for the information, much appreciated!

      “Say what you want, but no kid who is 40-0 and a state runner-up from the previous year is going to tell their coach they can’t wrestle…” Is EXACTLY the issue of concussions. Athletes need to be saved from themselves, if its not tomorrow or the next day, we are finding out, OFTEN, that ignoring head trauma will eventually rear its ugly head.

      What has not be disputed in this entire case is that Andy was “k.o.’ed” and “out of it” during the first incidence of injury. Whether or not he wanted to continue after that should have NOT been his call, his parents call, or his coaches call for that matter.

      I am glad Andy did well and won a state championship, and I am glad that he did well in the team state competition. I am positive this young man will continue to have a great and wonderful career in what ever he chooses. His example is one of great concern, and we are all blessed that he is still “doing well”.

  4. Andy Hoselton February 20, 2012 / 21:40

    Googled myself and found this. Don’t know who is in charge, but feel free to contact me if you want to know what happened. And yes AndroidWeevil, I’m alive.

    • Dustin Fink February 20, 2012 / 22:52

      Great to see you are doing well and at Purdue, are you wrestling there? Feel free to contact us via email.

  5. Liz Olson February 21, 2012 / 15:06

    This is exactly how my son received his concussion more than a year ago. He was thrown on his head. The trainer came out asked him how many fingers was he holding up and did he want to keep wrestling. Duh, what do you think a teenage boy will say in front of all his peers???? He continued on in the match and his opponent “cross-faced” him and hit him in the head two more times. When he began grabbing at his head and showing signs of being altered, the ref finally called the match. We were not called and he was allowed to to sit on the sidelines and deteriorate for two more hours. He finally called us himself when he was nauseous, couldn’t stand light or sound, and had a pretty bad headache. We heard his slurred speech and were immediately alarmed. This was all in violation of our state’s High School League’s Concussion Policy by the way. More than a year later, my child who used to be on the honor roll continues to struggle with symptoms and academics are a huge challenge to him. Part of me will always wonder if he had been pulled off the mat after that first blow to the head, would life be different for him now. When will people decide that a child’s life and future is more important than a few minutes on a mat, a field, or a court.

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