DETROIT – Mike Babcock has known high school hockey player Matt Sorisho for a few years. The senior was a linemate with Babcock’s son at Novi Detroit Catholic Central last season.
Last Friday, Sorisho, who was the Shamrocks’ top-leading scorer from last year’s state finalist team, shattered a lumbar vertebra in his back while playing hockey in a Michigan Development Hockey League game in Farmington Hills, Mich.
The spinal cord injury required Sorisho to undergo a seven-hour surgery to remove the shattered disk.
Babcock has visited Sorisho a couple of times this week in the hospital, and said that the 17-year-old is in good spirits despite a long recovery.
“Obviously, his life is going to be different, but he can still have a significant impact on the community and be a significant leader,” Babcock said. “He’s a strong, competitive kid with a great family. They’ve surrounded him with love now it’s time for him to grab his life back.”
Sorisho was injured after colliding back first into the boards.
“He was coming down the wing and got bumped, but he was shooting the puck, twisted his feet, went flying full out into the boards,” said Babcock, who was not at the game. “It’s a freak accident, but since I’ve been here with the Red Wings he’s the third kid in Michigan that I’ve gone to see who has a spinal injury.”
Phoenix forward David Moss, who graduated from CC in 2000, visited Sorisho and his family in the hospital on Wednesday. The Coyotes were in town to play the Red Wings on Thursday. Sorisho, who hoped to play hockey at Michigan State, was also visited by Spartans coach Tom Anastos this week.
“He has a great attitude,” Babcock said of Sorisho. “He’s already talking about his ACT score and changing some classes so he can go to (Michigan) State next year. He’s interested in getting back to CC as quick as he can.”
A report said that the family hopes to move Matt to the Ann Arbor Spine Center where it’s expected he’ll begin rehabilitation soon.
“He’s had some moment already and he’s going to have some more moments. … I’m not trying to pretend to know what this is like. I don’t think you have to get hit by a car to know this is awful. But you can’t dream up the feeling here. So he’s going through a lot right now. We’re pulling for him. I’m a big believer that he has a chance here in life to be a real difference-maker just with his attitude and with how he chooses to live.”
A webpage has been established to collect donations to help offset Matt’s medical and other expenses, Babcock said.
“It’s important as the CC community – and I’m one of those people – and the Red Wings, too, we can help out any way,” Babcock said. “We have to help him out. His life is going to be different, but his life can be great and that to me is the critical thing. Easy for me to say, harder for him to swallow and adjust to. But I have no question, with the faith that he has and the family that he has and with the surroundings that he has and the mental toughness that he has that he’s going to maximize his potential and be a leader in the community that way.”
To make a donation to the Matthew Sorisho Hockey Injury Fund click HERE.
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