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Schools of Thought: Get some ice, lots of ice

February 9, 2009
By Bill Cain, The Leader-Herald

It did not seem like a horribly hard foul when it happened.

There definitely was no malice behind it when Poland's Austin Miller laid hands on Dolgeville's Zach Goyette as he drove to the basket with 1:15 left in the third quarter of Saturday's basketball game.

There was no big thud of a body hitting the floor and Goyette didn't go flying into the wall at the end of the gym. There were no tears; there was no wailing in pain.

So when, after missing two free throws, the official said to Dolgeville basketball coach Brian Ellis, "We've got an injury here, coach," it was a little surprising.

Calm as can be, the guard walked over to the bench and told Ellis he thought his shoulder had popped out of joint. He told Ellis he was having trouble lifting his right arm to shoot the free throws. Ellis said he believes it to be something muscular, instead.

Regardless, Dolgeville athletic director and football coach Chris Connolly appeared on the bench beside Goyette as the ice pack was applied.

Goyette is a junior quarterback for the Blue Devils' team that won the Section III Class D championship in the fall before being stopped by defending state champion Walton. He threw for 1,026 yards on the season. He threw for 105 yards and a touchdown and an interception in the loss, Dolgeville's only loss of the season.

Goyette's numbers were lower than they would have been if the Blue Devils didn't have Clay Ardoin running for over 1,200 yards. He was named Dolgeville's most valuable player in the loss to Walton and his touchdown in that game was thrown to speedster Alex Snyder, who also will return next season and who owns the schools record in the 100-yard dash at 11.8 seconds.

The quarterback may be calling more pass plays in the huddle this fall when Ardoin graduates.

Now, I know an injury to a throwing shoulder in February, especially one that did not seem cause Goyette in a great deal of pain, is not necessarily something to get too worked up about when considering a football season that starts in August.

Even with summer workouts, I think Connolly's concern was more along the lines of an athletic director who saw one of his athletes injured and escorted off the floor by an official. He's probably not as worried as my imagination projects.

My imagination, however, says it's like returning to your car in a crowded parking lot and finding a ding in the door. It can be repaired, probably without a big to do. But it's still dinged and it will never be new again.

It's enough to raise a small concern. Under normal circumstances, I'd want everything to be done very slowly and surely. If he didn't come back to the basketball court for the rest of the season, so be it.

Circumstances are not normal, however.

The Blue Devils basketball team already is without Ardoin, who is out with a broken wrist, and Kyle Harlow, who has a knee injury that is too swollen to diagnose.

If Goyette is unfit to play tonight against Ilion, the Blue Devils will be reduced to seven players. If it is something serious that keeps him out a week, they will have seven players for back-to-back games Friday and Saturday in the final two games of the season.

With three games this week, the Blue Devils caught a break with Saturday's blowout of Poland because every player was afforded the rest he needed, when he needed it. That will be less the case this week, so every player they can suit up will help.

So I guess the plan now is be safe, be sure, but be quick about it.



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