Brewer High School may temporarily be without its girls soccer coach.
Witches head coach Dave Hamel was hospitalized on Wednesday and is scheduled to undergo surgery on Thursday to repair a ruptured disc in his back.
On his Facebook page, Hamel wrote, “Well, at age 41, my aching back has finally caught up to me. I sneezed and my bulging disc turned into a ruptured disc. I came to (emergency room) at 3:30 a.m. and had an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) at 7 a.m.
“The disc is now pressing on a nerve and causing me extreme pain and loss of strength in my whole right leg. So, surgery is happening. Would have been today but I had a bagel at 11 a.m. so now it’s (Thursday morning). They are admitting me so they can give me IV (intravenous) meds to control pain and allow me to sleep. It’s a relatively minor surgery so no need to waste a prayer on me, save those for Mexico and Puerto Rico as they need prayers more than me. Should be back tomorrow and, hopefully, back to normal relatively soon.”
As a result of the development, Brewer’s game at Mount View of Thorndike on Wednesday was postponed.
Brewer High School Athletic Director Dave Utterback said Matt Goodman, the girls JV coach and assistant varsity coach, and boys head coach Ben Poland will run the team in Hamel’s absence. He will re-assess the situation if Hamel’s absence is long term.
Utterback said the Mount View game will be played on Monday at 3:30 in Thorndike and he said he was grateful to Mount View administrators for being “more than accommodating to reschedule.”
Utterback said Hamel told him he was hoping to have the surgery on Wednesday morning and be able to coach on Wednesday afternoon.
“That’s the kind of guy he is. He wanted to be there for the girls,” said Utterback. “But he is physically unable to right now.”
Utterback said Goodman was scheduled to work the girls out for an hour on Wednesday and they weren’t scheduled to practice on Thursday as “a lot of students are involved in our Hall of Fame (banquet) on Thursday night.”
After Monday’s game at Mount View, the Witches’ next scheduled contest is Sept. 28 when they host Lawrence of Fairfield at 3:30 p.m.
Brewer is in its first season in Class B North after moving from Class A and is 3-2-1, good for sixth place in the Heal Point standings.
Hamel is in his fourth season as the head coach of the Witches.