While vacationing in Florida in July, William E. Hay Composite High School principal and football coach Norbert Baharally was having fun with his family – until he suffered a major seizure on July 28.
It was the first seizure Baharally had ever had in his life, he said, and it landed him in the hospital in Florida for several days. Since then, he’s been on a regimen of drugs designed to prevent him from having another seizure while he awaits an appointment with a neurologist.
The side effects from the medication include decreased stamina, and that weariness has sidelined Baharally from football practice for the vast majority of the pre-season, he explained.
“Practices were happening at 6 at night,” he said. By then, after a long day, he was simply too tired to be part of the practice.
“Now that school’s started,” and practices are right after school, “I think I can take part more often,” he added.
Baharally also had his driver’s license suspended because of the seizure, which means he has to walk everywhere or get rides.
“I don’t mind letting people know,” he said, adding that he’d rather have people know the cause than think he’d suffered a DUI, for example.
Offensive coordinator Guy Nietz and defensive coordinator Brian Matchett have been running the practices, while people from the school and coaches from the Bantam football league have stepped up to help in Baharally’s absence.
When the William E. Hay students take the field later this week in Lloydminster for their first exhibition match of the year, Baharally said he hopes to be there with the other coaches, though he knows game nights will be tougher for him.