Injured Fagaitua softball player is doing fine after accident during game

Faasao Marist Cougars give game to Fagaitua: “Winning isn’t everything”
blue@samoanews.com

The American Samoa High School Athletics Association (ASHSAA) Girl’s Softball game that took place last Thursday afternoon at the Tony Sola’ita Baseball field in Tafuna, between the Faasao Marist Cougars and Faga’itua Vikings ended early after one of the players suffered an injury so serious, paramedics had to rush the young lady to the LBJ Medical Center.

The sight of the 17-year-old seizing as players and spectators looked on was enough to bring everyone to tears.

It happened during the bottom of the second inning, while the Vikings were batting. A senior from Faga’itua High School was gliding from third base to home plate when a Cougars player tagged her. Those who watched the game all agreed that there was no malicious intent and it was a clean play.

In the blink of an eye, the Vikings player flipped backwards and landed hard on her back. Vikings assistant coach Yominna Panama Paselio told Samoa News that everyone rushed on to the field, trying to render aid to the injured player who, by this time, was seizing.

Paselio said players from both teams were in tears, standing there watching, not sure what to think or do.

What happened next was something that has had social media abuzz with positive comments and feedback over the weekend.

FMHS Cougars coach Victor Langkilde, also the president of the school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) spoke to the girls on his team and an agreement was reached, that the victory would be given to the Vikings.

Samoa News understands that following the incident the Faga’itua coaching staff was told that they would be forfeiting the game.

But Langkilde, whose team was already up 6-0 when the accident occurred, notified ASHSAA officials that they were handing over the win for the game, to the Vikings.

The decision by Langkilde and the Cougars team has gained numerous praises online, with people – both local and off island – sending messages of condolences to the Vikings team and their injured player, and congratulating the Faasao Marist players for being great competitors.

When contacted for comments on Sunday afternoon, Langkilde said giving the Vikings the win was “the right thing to do.” According to him, the goal of sports is to teach kids that winning isn’t everything, and that good sportsmanship and love for each other is much more important.

Langkilde said he is proud of his team, for agreeing to give Faga’itua the win. “At the end of the day, it all starts from the top. If we can teach our kids to do the right thing and support one another, then we have done our job.”

He said, “In this day in age, we want to teach our kids that it isn’t all about winning.” He said kids need to be taught that there are things in life that are essential in building good character and molding them to become good examples.

Langkilde said efforts by them to contact the Faga’itua coaching staff to get an update on the condition of the injured player were unsuccessful. He said the Cougars team was trying to find out if the girl was still in the hospital, as they wanted to pay her a visit and bring her a card.

Moments after the accident, employees from the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) were contacted and shortly thereafter, the girl, accompanied by Paselio, was rushed to the hospital.

According to Paselio, the girl was in and out of consciousness during the ride from Tafuna to Faga’alu but she was relieved when the girl finally spoke to her after they arrived at the hospital. “It was a relief when she looked at me and responded when I asked her who I was,” Paselio said with a smile.

The injured player, who plays second base and is the president of the Vikings senior class, was released Saturday afternoon, and Samoa News understands that she suffered a brain contusion and therefore, has been told to rest and take two weeks off.

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