From the Sports Editor: Wesley QB Falkenberg survives scary injury

Wesley quarterback Nick Falkenberg, right. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

By the time the game was over, Nick Falkenberg was pretty beat up.

His left side was throbbing and he had been diagnosed with a mild concussion.

But it wasn’t until the Wesley College quarterback was in the emergency room on the night of Aug. 31 that it really began to sink in that something was seriously wrong with him.

“When they took a CAT scan, I knew that something was wrong,” said Falkenberg. “There were a lot of nurses that came in and didn’t have the look of ‘great news’ on their face.

“When they said there was internal bleeding, it was a sad moment. … It was tough.”

As physical a sport as football is, it’s still startling when a player finds himself in a life-and-death situation because of something that happened on the field.

Falkenberg suffered a lacerated spleen when a player fell on him in the first half of the Wolverines’ 24-19, season-opening loss at Delaware Valley.

The trouble is, no one realized it at the time. The training staff thought the senior QB had bruised ribs.

So Falkenberg continued to play — and bleed internally — through the rest of the game. He only sat out the final series of the contest because of the concussion, which he suffered in the fourth quarter.

Wesley coach Mike Drass credits Wesley’s trainers along with Delaware Valley’s doctor for realizing that Falkenberg needed to go to the emergency room.

He underwent emergency surgery that night, with doctors removing about 70 percent of his spleen. He spent the next four days in the hospital.

His season over, Falkenberg is back on campus and doing OK now.

“I’m getting better and better every day,” he said.

Falkenberg plans on still being a part of the team and doing what he can from the sidelines. He said he’s looking forward to watching his successor, junior Khaaliq Burroughs.

“It’s going to be very different,” Falkenberg said about his new role. “But I have 100 percent trust in Khaaliq and I can’t wait to watch him play. … I’m going to be his No. 1 supporter on the field.”

If he wants to, the doctors think Falkenberg will be medically cleared to play football again next season. He’s on course to graduate in May.

“I’ve thought about it,” he said. “I still have to think more and talk to my parents.

“I do have a decision to make but right now my main focus is on getting my degree and helping Khaaliq on the field the best I can.”

Farmer passes away

Dale Farmer, the former Smyrna High football coach who led Delaware high school athletics into the modern era, passed away on Thursday evening. He was 88.

Farmer was the first full-time executive director of the Delaware Secondary School Athletic Association, serving in the role from 1970-91.

Dale Farmer, front left, receives the DIAA lifetime achievement award in May. (Submitted photo)

It was during his tenure, just after school consolidation, that most of Delaware’s official state tournaments were started.

As executive director, Farmer was also instrumental in the creation of much of the current governance structure of DIAA (DSSAA’s successor) and oversaw the expansion of girls’ sports in response to Title IX.

Farmer was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the DIAA in May.

“He did so much for interscholastic athletics in Delaware,” said former DIAA executive director Kevin Charles. “He was a pioneer. He was a leader. And he was a principled, caring human being. His impact was huge. He will be missed.

“But his legacy lives on each time a student in Delaware steps on an interscholastic athletic field of play.”

“He gave permanence to the organization by judiciously enforcing the rules of the member schools on a fair and consistent basis,” said Jack Holloway, another former executive director. “Delaware high school athletics owes Dale Farmer a considerable debt for his contributions.”

A funeral service for Farmer will be held on Tuesday at noon at Pippin Funeral Home in Wyoming, Friends may visit with the family from 10 a.m.-noon.

Burial will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery in Dover. In lieu of flowers, donations in Farmer’s memory can be made to the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame.

One shining moment

For Dover High’s field hockey players, it was a moment they’ll never forget.

After all, it’s not every day that you can stop a team’s nine-year winning streak.

But that’s what the Senators did on Tuesday night when they toppled Cape Henlopen, 2-1, to end the Vikings’ 107-game, regular-season winning streak against Delaware schools.

For veteran Dover coach Denise Kimbro, that moment was a long time coming.

“Every year I go home from the Cape game and I’m distraught,” she said. “I know I’ve got to pick myself back up because I still have more games to play. But every time you lose to Cape, you don’t have a chance to win the Henlopen Conference.

“I told the kids this last night (on Monday), I said, ‘Every year, I go out, I hope we win, and we don’t. But I don’t quit. I come back to work the next day because I believe in you.’ “

Before Tuesday, Dover lost to the Vikings by a combined 14-0 in the last three meetings.

Odds & ends

• Caesar Rodney High’s current 2-0 start in football marks the first time the Riders have opened a season with back-to-back wins since 2012.

CR, which hosts William Penn on Friday, hasn’t been 3-0 since 2008 when it won its first eight games on the way to capturing the Division I state championship.

• Dover High grad Triston Harris, a redshirt freshman, was Towson’s second-string quarterback in its game against Maryland last week. He didn’t see any action, though.

• With a 14-game losing streak, Delaware State has the second-longest current losing streak among NCAA Division football teams (FCS or FBS). Austin Peay, though, is well ahead of the Hornets having lost 29 in a row going into Saturday’s action.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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