Adventures of a Concussed Wrestler


Reagan Schneider (blue singlet) gets a concussion from a season ending slam

     Going into the wrestling season there was a lot of confusion on what was happening with the COVID-19 outbreak and how the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) was going to make a full-contact wrestling season possible. Conifer’s wrestling season was canceled altogether and initially, I thought I wouldn’t be able to wrestle at all this year.

     When all seemed lost I talked to my friend, 10th grader Andrew Hannigan, who attends Platte Canyon High School. He secured a spot for me on their roster and was able to get me the wrestling season I desperately wanted. 

     I realized that getting to wrestling practice was going to be difficult, though, with having to get different people to give me rides to practice every day of the week. My friend and another wrestler, Jared Bohne, were able to give me rides for the beginning of the season but after two weeks he had to quit due to the start of the rugby season.

     I realized that my ride schedule was going to have to be fixed for me to continue wrestling. My wrestling partner Noah Hartman, a senior who was homeschooled this year, said he would give me a ride if I went to the gas station next to the highway to Platte Canyon. I realized a challenge I would have to overcome every day was to walk from my house to the gas station which was a 40-minute walk right next to a busy highway. Although I was scared at first, I realized that this was a great way to lose weight so I insisted on walking to the gas station instead of getting rides from my house. When I was also losing weight during the season, I was naive and didn’t eat for three days straight. When I went to school that week, I passed out twice,  was escorted home, and had to skip the first duel our team had.

     This devastated me because this season I told myself I would get serious and try to win a few matches. My plan fell apart. After the first duel, I decided to go up a weight class so it would be easier for me to lose the weight I needed. 

     I trained hard every day to try and become the best I could be for the second duel we had at Platte Canyon High. I was able to wrestle this meet and was focused on trying to get a win against my competition. After everyone wrestled, there was the final match between me and my last opponent. Due to the short notice that I would be facing the kid, I didn’t know anything about him and if he was good or not. I went onto the wrestling mat cautious of what he was going to do. During the first round, he seemed less skilled than me and predictable so I made him try and grab my leg then I went behind him to grab two points. At the end of the first round, I was winning by three points and I just had to waste time to win. I was exhausted in the second round and when he grabbed my leg, I was unable to get it free. I knew I would be thrown so I tried bracing for impact and when I tried to reach out with my left hand, I realized he had it in his grasp and before I knew it he threw me on my head.

     The referee called a two-minute break when she saw I was injured.  I tried looking at my coach but my eyes were blinded by the lights and my head throbbed with pain. I laid on my back and covered my eyes. I can faintly remember my coach asking me if I was okay and I remember mumbling back trying to make words come out of my mouth. When I realized that I had a choice to continue the match, I got back up with a massive headache and no sense of direction and decided to continue the match because I didn’t wanna give up. When I wrestled more I wasn’t able to control myself and I got thrown again but in a less violent way and I was pinned by my opponent. 

     After a weekend of pain, I went to the doctor and he told me that I was unwise to continue wrestling because I had a concussion that needed more time to recover.