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The Roanoke Times (Virginia)


Floyd County's boys basketball team scored a 55-39 victory last Friday at Chatham in the opening round of the Region 2C tournament, but not before a veteran official from Lynchburg had a close call.

Mark Strosnider, who has been officiating high school games in the Lynchburg area for more than 20 years, collapsed and went into cardiac arrest two minutes into the game.

Within minutes, trainers on site, two nurses and other first responders shocked the veteran official's heart back into rhythm with a defibrillator that Chatham High School had on site.

Strosnider was taken to a hospital by ambulance and underwent successful heart surgery Tuesday. He is resting comfortably.

"Apparently the trainer was pretty much in his back pocket when he collapsed," Lynchburg-area commissioner of officials Charles Trent said Thursday. "The trainer performed CPR. There were a couple of nurses that came out of the stands to assist. They hit him with the [defibrillator] twice, I think, while he was on the floor.

"I went to see him Monday night. He was in no pain. He was in great spirits. It was a whole bunch of miracles."

Floyd County coach Brian Harman said Strosnider collapsed under the basket during a play when the Buffaloes had the ball.

"My guard went up and got hit on a layup," Harman said."I thought he got hit pretty good. I turned to my assistant and said, 'He got killed. Why didn't we get that call?'

"I looked down there and the guy who would normally make that call was laying on the ground."

Harman said while Strosnider was receiving attention on the floor, Floyd's team retreated to the locker room.

"I can't handle seeing someone else hurt," Harman said. "We went into the locker room because I could see it was pretty serious.

"I told my assistants to stay at the door just in case we overreacted.

"That's a lot for a kid. I told my guys they got his heartbeat back and he'd probably be OK."

The game continued after a long delay. Trent summoned a third official from Danville, who arrived before the game resumed.

"They gave my officials the option of whether to finish," Trent said. "They both decided Mark would have wanted them to finish."

Harman said both teams appeared to be affected by Strosnider's collapse when the game resumed.

"My guys were pretty tore up," the Floyd coach said. "It was a scary situation that happened fast. I'm just thankful they got him back."

Harman said Floyd County has a defibrillator on site.

He is an advocate of training all athletic personnel in its use.

"I think all the coaches up here need to be trained in CPR and how to run that," Harman said. "I would be terrified if something happened to one of my kids and I didn't know what to do."

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February 23, 2018


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