Five Questions with Tristan Esparza

Sara Cabrera, Writer/ Copy Editor

During practice on Monday, September 21, varsity player Tristan Esparza, free safety on the football team, severely hurt his head when coming down from blocking a play.


Q1. How did you injure your neck?

A1. During practice, I jumped up to block a pass and when I came back down I landed on my butt and my head went back and I got whiplash.  I hit the floor and I was rolling over to get up. I was on all fours and I was just out. I couldn’t see. Everything was so blurry, and I couldn’t respond to anyone that was talking to me. I was there for about five minutes just on my knees.


Q2. How did your teammates and coaches react?

A2.  At first nobody came up to me because they thought I was joking and then finally Conor [varsity football player] came and asked if I was all right and I couldn’t talk so then he pushed me and I fell over. Everyone called the coach after that, and then he saw me and realized how serious it was, so he was like ‘Awe dang, you’re out,’ and then the coaches all came and not even two minutes after looking at me, they were like, ‘You know what, we need to call the ambulance.’


Q3. What emotions and thoughts were running through your head?

A3. I was scared and I didn’t know what was going on. Nothing else hurt but my head. It was so weird because I couldn’t move or anything, but I knew I was going to get through it.  The only time it probably hit me is when they told me ‘I’m calling the ambulance.’ I didn’t want to go because if I went, I already knew I was going to be out and not be able to play so once they said call the ambulance I was thinking, ‘No don’t call them.’ I didn’t want to worry my dad. I didn’t want to do anything but just snap out of it. When the ambulance came, they were asking me questions. I just remember hearing them, but I still couldn’t open my eyes or talk. I knew what they were saying and I was doing what they were telling me to but that’s it.


Q4. How long were you in the hospital and what did the doctors diagnose you with?

A4. That was on Monday last week and I was in the hospital for only a couple hours. They gave me a CAT scan and checked if there was anything wrong with my brain and told me I had a concussion and a sprained neck. The doctor said I needed to be out for 2 weeks and couldn’t go to school for two days. They gave me a big brace to wear, but I did not want to wear it, so I took it off. I was like ‘I am not going to wear that,’ but I’m supposed to wear it whenever my neck starts hurting.


Q5. How did your parents react?

A5. My dad never wants to show emotion so he just kept saying ‘It’s okay. You’ll get over it,’ or ‘You’re just faking it because you just don’t want to practice.’ That’s pretty much what everyone was saying. My mom was just really worried and asking why I didn’t tell her sooner, because she didn’t find out until a couple days later.