Teen’s Injury Leads to Football Safety Improvements at Bear River High School

GRASS VALLEY -- Bear River High School in Grass Valley received some new practice equipment Monday from Shadowman Sports, designed to reduce the risk of player injuries. It was donated in honor of a student who suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Standout athlete Toran Maronic was in a coma for five days last summer after landing head-first into a spectator at an out-of-town tournament.

He has recovered remarkably, looking and sounding 100 percent healthy, despite what doctors originally told his parents.

“He definitely is a miracle,” Toran’s father Dave told FOX40. “They told us he had 90 percent chance of never waking up.”

Toran was present on the Bear River practice field Monday afternoon when representatives form Shadowman Sports showed up with the new inflatable mobile equipment which players and coaches use to simulate game scenarios while reducing player-on-player contact.

The players got a lesson from the company’s CEO/founder JP Hartigan and the president/COO Stephen Flanagan.

The company dedicated the equipment to Toran who in turn presented it to the school.

“When I went down, the community and the team rallied around me, and I just want to be able to pay you guys back in any way I can,” Toran told the varsity football coaches. “And obviously that won’t be on the field this year. But I want to donate to you guys the Shadowman to support you two and keep the safety of our players a first priority.”

Even though he’s retired from high school football, Toran plans to play lacrosse and basketball when he returns to Bear River in the fall to finish the senior year that was cut short because of his injury.

“It’s all gonna be worth it once I come out and put on a show next year,” he said.

Toran’s parents formed a foundation in his honor, T3 Charities, to help families who are going through struggles similar to the one they endured. And they are signing up players for a big Celebrity Golf Classic benefiting the foundation, scheduled for June 16 and 17. Participants will have the opportunity to play golf with some big names in the world of sports.

The Golf Classic will also benefit a research study on catastrophic brain injuries among high school football players, headed by the Practice Like Pros organization.

Shadowman Sports practice equipment is now used in 2,000 athletic programs.