Two decades ago, Marshall Tames was Chris Miccio’s football coach at Midwood. On Saturday, Miccio was helping save Tames’ life.
Tames, the Erasmus Hall athletic director, was manning the public-address system and Miccio was working the scoreboard in the press box for the PSAL City Championship division playoff football game between Erasmus and DeWitt Clinton at Midwood Athletic Complex.
Late in the second quarter, Tames collapsed and fell out of his chair. Miccio sprung into action. With his old coach not breathing and turning purple, Miccio began performing CPR — as a volunteer coach for Midwood, it’s something he’s trained in.
“It goes to show that it really is important to do this kind of thing,” Miccio said. “All the coaches on our staff go and get it done. Whether you’re a volunteer or a paid coach, you have to get your CPR certification.”
While Miccio was tending to Tames, two other Midwood assistants – Josh Rubin and Tom Esposito – did their part. Rubin made sure someone was calling 911, while Esposito ran down to the field to grab the automated external defibrillator (AED), which every coach in the PSAL is required to have at each game.
The doctor working the game, Gene Tekmyster, and Ed Golembe, Erasmus Hall’s team physician, followed Esposito up to the press box. Following up on Miccio’s CPR, the two MDs got Tames’ heart working again with a shock. Golembe said he was conscious quickly.
But without the AED handy?
“I suspected he would not make it,” said Golembe, the medical director of the Hyperbaric and Wound Healing Center at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn.
While they were waiting for the ambulance, Miccio and company were trying to keep Tames responsive.
“He always used to bust our [chops] about owing him money for candy and stuff like that when we did fundraising,” Miccio said. “I said to him, ‘Hey Coach, do I still owe you that 11 bucks from my junior year of high school?’ He said, ‘Yeah, you still owe it to me.’”
Miccio wasn’t the only former player of Tames at the field Saturday. Erasmus Hall head coach Danny Landberg and assistants Ray Lizzi and Rosnel Dorsainvil are Midwood alums. Tames coached the Hornets for 18 years, retiring in 2001. He was also the JV coach at the school under current PSAL commissioner Al Arbuse for 20 years.
“He’s real dedicated,” Arbuse said. “Time is never a problem, he always made time for anyone. He’s very reliable and always had the kids’ interest at heart.”
Tames, a PSAL football historian, makes up Erasmus Hall’s football game programs with both teams’ head-to-head matchups going back to the early 1900s. For example, Tames wrote that the first meeting between E-Hall and Clinton was back in 1902, a 23-11 Governors win. He was also careful to note that before 1912, touchdowns were worth just five points.
“He’s meticulous for administrating when it comes to the history of everything,” Landberg said. “He makes this his life. He’s been around PSAL football since the ’50s.”
And because of Miccio, Golembe and Tekmyster, he’ll be around awhile longer.
“Somebody asked you what you did today, oh I worked a scoreboard at a football game, saved somebody’s life,” Miccio said. “It is what it is. If there’s a situation like that in front of you, you can’t stand around and not do anything. You gotta take action. It’s that simple.”