Sunday, December 24, 2006

Follmer/Lowery Incident

As most of you know, Lincoln's Ryan Lowery and Kyle Follmer had an incident at practice awhile ago. Some think Kyle should have had the book thrown at him, but I think people should get the whole story before jumping at Kyle. Sure, he's had his bad moments in the league, but I believe he can be a good kid. Follmer and Lowery are both excellent players and the loss of Lowery is a huge blow for Colorado College and Lincoln, but Lowery will be back next season to work on things in preperation for CC.

USHR had posted an article about this incident and it is here:

With Teammates Like This…

5’11” Lincoln Stars (USHL) RD Ryan Lowery, a Colorado College recruit for fall ’08, was badly injured in a fight at practice last week.

Reportedly, Lowery’s teammate 6’1” forward Kyle Folmer was able to throw Lowery to the ice hard enough to pop out the defenseman’s shoulder. After getting Lowery’s jersey over his head, Folmer pounded away, breaking his teammate's jaw.

This happened at a captain’s practice. No coaches were on the ice.

Lowery’s jaw is wired shut. That should heal in due time. Of greater concern is Lowery’s shoulder, which will get looked at again right after Christmas. The ’88, who played last season with Team Illinois and was Lincoln’s #1 selection in the 2005 Futures Draft, could miss some serious time – possibly the rest of the season.

Folmer hasn’t missed a game.

Now, I think the right thing to do would to have investigated this matter a little more instead of writing up an article and make Kyle out to be the bad guy in this case. Of course, he didn't end up with any seperations or broken bones, but he could have just as easily.

Kate Crandall, who writes for the Colorado College Tigers, put up an excellent article and she had enough brains to talk with Lowery about it before jumping to conclusions.

Lowery and teammate Kyle Follmer fought after a competition-based practice in which the losing team had to do extra conditioning.

“Even though it’s supposed to be a fun day, it’s still a very competitive day,” coach Steve Johnson said.

Trash talk between the pair boiled over during post-practice stretches.

“It’s pretty common for there to be fights,” Lowery said. “It was more that we just got really competitive.

“We both got kind of angry at each other.”

Follmer, who did not suffer serious injuries in the fight, visited Lowery in the hospital. Otherwise, the two have not spoken, Lowery said, adding that he doesn’t hold a grudge.

So thanks Kate for putting up an excellent article and letting Lowery explain what happened. Now maybe people can let Kyle be. I'm sure he feels awful enough for injuring a teammate and ending his season.

Happy Holidays to everyone and a speedy recovery to Lowery!

Special thanks to USHR for the article.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the name of the person who wrote the USHR story? In all the copies that have been posted I haven't seen a by-line. Obviously who ever it was didn't bother to take a few minutes to actually investigate what happened. I would think that is standard procedure for someone claiming to be a "journalist" apparently he'd be better off working for the National Enquirer instead of a hockey website. I just find it interesting that he writes the story which is full of lies and doesn't have the balls to attach his name to it. Maybe he knew it was false and didn't want it coming back to him.
As far as the Omaha comments I find it hard to believe that a "tradition" such as that would have been kept secret for so long.

Anonymous said...

Let's not go coddling poor Follmer just yet...

This kid is trouble with a capitol T. Last season he stole from his own teammates and the team itself. Not only that, but he busted up a lot of things at a post season party that ended up costing his former team a considerable sum of money. Then there's the fact that he was busted stealing in Ohio before the season even started, lest we forget the drugs that have been involved.

Anyone who thinks Follmer is a good kid is a complete moron, and if you let him into your house you deserve what WILL happen.

Follmer is a great hockey player, but off ice he's a complete disaster. All the CC article did was smooth over a very ugly incident for the Stars.

Ryan said...

Yes, Kyle has been trouble off ice, but this wasn't really "off ice" since it was practice. It was in the heat of the moment and both were talking, perhaps Lowery underestimated Follmer, but stealing and his off ice issues have nothing to do with this incident at practice.

Anonymous said...

I'm well aware of his off ice problems, not going to deny the kid has issues, but why would Lowery lie and say it was mutual if it wasn't? CC has nothing to gain by trying to make things look good for the Stars. The USHR article made Lowery look like the innocent victim, and in the second article he shared responsiblity. Isn't one supposed to be innocent until proven guilty? Just because he's done things previously and will probably do things again doesn't mean that he's soley to blame for this incident.

WahooLancer said...

I find this whole article disturbing. For anyone, Coach Johnson (Lincoln) or Coach Hastings (Omaha) to promote fighting in practice in ridiculous. Maybe this shows why these guys are still Jr. hockey coaches and have not moved up the ladder.

Even more disturbing is the attempt to excuse this incident because it occured at a "Captain's Practice". Like that make it OK. Remember alot of the kids in USHL are still minors (under 18) and thus adults can still be held legally responsible for injuries that could occur. The USHL needs to look very hard at not allowing players on the ice without proper adult coaching supervision. If Lowery's parents wanted to sue Follmer, Coach Johnson, the Lincoln Stars, and the USHL, they would have an excellent case.

Additionally, given the description of the incident, Follmer's lucky he didn't have criminal charges filed against him.

I understand that fighting is part the game, and that young men will be (and need to be) young men. But adults and coaching staffs either not properly supervising practices, or worse yet, encouraging teammates to fight at practice is repugnant.


Anonymous said...

Wahoolancer- Tom, did you bother to read the 2nd article? If so you'd notice that Lowery stated that he shared responsibilty in the fight.

Anonymous said...

I think you missed Tom's point. It's unacceptable to have fighting in practice like this. Supervised or un-supervised, it's absolultey unacceptable. I don't care who started it or who finished it. Shame on any organization that condones or allows this to happen.

If I were Lowry's parents, I'd be on the way to owning the Lincoln Stars via lawsuit right now.

It doesn't matter who started it, or who was responsible out of the two players. The Lincoln Stars organiztion has a huge problem if this kind of behavior is allowed to go on, and it's a huge liability for both them and the USHL.

Anonymous said...

anyone who would file a lawsuit over a mutual fight in practice is, and i mean this with the utmost respect, a complete pussy. The fact that they aren't filing lawsuits shows that Lowery is man enough to accept responsibility for his actions and now whine about it in court. Get real people.

WahooLancer said...

The problem with this incident is not which player started the fight, or who is a "man".

Real "men" don't beat up there teammates in practice to the point that they have a broken jaw and and seperated shoulder.

The real problem is twofold: One, that any organization would promote and encourage fights between teammates in practice, and, Two that an organization promotes this kind of behaivor without proper adult coaching supervision present.

Remember, this is not the first time the Stars organization has encountered this type of "beat down" behaivors. A year (or two) ago a player was beat up in the locker room and ended up with a broken jaw (Kelley). Again, the incident was excused as a "mutual fight".

These are 16, 17, and 18 year old kids playing hockey (in a developmental league) for a chance at college scholorship (where fighting is not allowed). What if Lowery's shoulder is messed up enough he never plays again? What a waste.

Again, this is hockey, and fights will, and should occur. However, fighting does not need to be promoted at practice, and Jr. players should not be on the ice without proper supervision. If a coach had been present, who know, maybe this ends in a short scrap instead of a broken jaw and seperated shoulder.

As for "getting real", I respond accordingly; Would you want your child to play for such an irresponsible organization that promotes this kind of environment and cares so little for your kid?


Anonymous said...

Chris Warner wrote the article for USHR and I'm sure he would love to hear your reasoning for this act of team bonding by the Stars.


Anonymous said...

I believe both are at fault for the fight. Remember when when your talking about someone you are saying things that have ran through a telephone. You heard what someone else has heard and so on. What you may of heard about Kyle Follmer is not true. Get your facts right before you start talking about someone like. You have the right to say your opion, but get your facts right if your going to say anything like that about someone. The truth is Kyle Follmer and another teammate were the only to people that didn't tell on there team for stealing and the person who stole was the one that told and blammed it on half the team. In Ohio, Kyle was there for 4 days. So get your shit right. Have anyone of you seen Kyle do drugs? Probably not, so there goes the telephone again. -Tinsly