Local Sports Journal

The Montague Wildcats finally got their first football victory of the season Friday – 34-17 over North Muskegon in West Michigan Conference action – but that wasn’t the big story of the night.

What really mattered is that a young Montague player escaped what might have been a very serious injury, and both teams displayed the type of concern and sportsmanship that Montague Coach Pat Collins deeply appreciated.

There were about three minutes left in the game when Montague freshman Eddie Caviedes, serving on the kickoff squad, had a collision with a much larger player from North Muskegon.

The 120-pound Caviedes was knocked unconscious, and was taken to Hackley Hospital in Muskegon, where he regained full consciousness and was able to display free movement throughout his body, according to Collins.

While medical tests were still pending Friday night, Collins said Caviedes suffered a severe concussion and will probably miss the rest of the season.

“He’s the kind of kid that’s just fearless,” Collins told Local Sports Journal. “He came down the field and took on their biggest player, I think. He went right into him. It was 120 pounds against a really big guy. He was pancaked and knocked out.”

The game ended after the injury, at the suggestion of North Muskegon Coach Mike Belmonte.

Collins appreciated the gesture, and was very impressed by the show of sportsmanship by the North Muskegon players.

Collins said players from both teams prayed together while Caviedes was being treated on the field, then chanted the injured player’s name.

Montague teammates gathered around the ambulance as Caviedes was being loaded inside, singing the school fight song. When they turned around, they found the Norse players standing nearby with their helmets in the air.

The Montague players returned the gesture.

“They all just stood with their helmets in the air – nobody moved,” Collins said. “It was a really cool moment.”

No other details were available regarding the game.