BERLIN- In what was billed as one of the biggest youth football games of the young season on the Lower Shore, the Berlin Seahawks of the Pop Warner Midget Division (ages 12-15) fell to the Wicomico Panthers last Saturday, 28-0, after losing its star player to an injury early in the contest.
The Seahawks traveled to Salisbury last Saturday for the big match-up with Wicomico with both teams highly regarded in youth football on the shore. The Panthers had been dominating early in the season, scoring over 100 points in its first four contests, while Berlin Coach Kuartez James said his team might be the best in over a decade.
Berlin moved the ball successfully in the early going against Wicomico until an injury to star running back D.J. Kee went down with an injury to his neck and back. Near the end of the first quarter, Kee ran headfirst into three Wicomico defenders, walked off the field and collapsed.
Kee complained of pain in his neck and lower back and an ambulance was called. Kuartez said this week from that point on, he believed his young players were intimidated. After the injury to Kee, Berlin could not move the football on offense or stop the Panthers on defense.
The injury to Kee was just the first of many for key players on the Berlin team. Team captain Cobin Lohnas exited the game with an injury to his hand, while another team captain, Michael Wimbrow went down with an injury complaining of pain to his neck and lower back after making a great tackle to cause a fumble. Wimbrow was also taken to a hospital by ambulance.
Wimbrow waved his hand in the air to indicate he was okay as he was removed from the field on a stretcher. Fortunately, both Kee and Wimbrow were immediately released from the hospital with no injuries. James said the players have nothing more serious than strained muscles.
With the injuries piling up, Berlin was overmatched by Wicomico the rest of the way and the Panthers prevailed, 28-0.