Stephen Cabrera (#10) seen doing the work with the defensive line. (Photo by Anthony Luna)
Don Antonio Lugo High School

Stephen Cabrera hits the ground running

Stephen Cabrera, a football player, track jumper, ASB junior class treasurer and Dr. Cabrera’s very own son. As one of the brightest kids on campus, Cabrera represents our schools Conquistador Way of “Be Respectful, Be Responsible, and Be Involved.”

He has shown his dedication through academics, and of course, athletics. Cabrera adds energy to the team, and continues to pour his heart out on the field every week, and his presence on the field is contagious.

On Sept. 14, Don Antonio Lugo’s faced Northview High School. On a punt, minutes before half-time, Cabrera looked to make a play but was hit from his blind side and did not get up for several minutes. When the hit that knocked him out of the game initially happened, Cabrera recalled, ”It was pretty scary to be honest, when I got hit I was in shock, so I couldn’t really move or get up.”

Dr. Cabrera, at the time, was there, standing on the sidelines when Cabrera got hit, stood in disbelief and grief as her son lay there fighting to get back to his feet. The whole football team, along with the coaches, were devastated as their starting defensive end and starting tight end had taken a huge hit and couldn’t get to his feet.

This immediately caused a huge impact to the football team since its thin depth chart affects the players, and there aren’t that many backups that are able to fill that spot on the field.

Concussions are a very serious injury, but more common at all levels of football from professional to pop warner. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information article, Dr Nathan A. Jacobson reported, “Youth football programs across the United States represent an at-risk population of approximately 3.5 million athletes for sports-related concussions.”

Significant blows to the head, play after play, game after game can take its toll on a player. Those blows to the head may be unhealthy for a player, but players must know what they are getting themselves into when they play football.

Kim Hansen, Don Lugo’s athletic trainer, was asked what the process of rehabbing is like from a concussion.

”Every one will have different symptoms and everyone will have different degrees of severity. So it’s hard to say how long an athlete will be out when it first happens because they are all different scenarios,” Hansen said.

Cabrera’s original recovery plan was a suggested two to three week plan. “I think I could’ve gotten better way quicker if the first doctor told me to stay home” Cabrera said.

After the Northview game, Cabrera dealt with many headaches and nausea in school. He was out for a week and sat out the game against California High School. With some uncertainty, Cabrera isn’t all sure if he will be ready for this week’s game which is the first league game against Chaffey High School.

Stephen Cabrera seen weight training in the Don Lugo weight room. Being spotted by Jodi Murrah (not pictured), recovery has been heavily supported by his teammates. (Photo by Edward Lillie)

Jojo Galindo and fellow captains Johnnie Valdez and Branden Garcia chimed in “Stephen is a key player on the Don Lugo football team.”

Cabrera’s return was on Oct. 4 against Chaffey.

Cabrera was itching to come back on the field remarking, “I want to come back hitting the ground running. Basically I want to go out and play the rest of the season [whole] heartedly,” Cabrera said.

Coming up on the biggest part of the season, with league starting, Cabrera’s heart to play football for his team is undeniable.