Football teammates support Bloomfield

Joe Davis


The Sacramento State football team has been playing inspired with heavy hearts as thoughts of fallen teammate John Bloomfield loom.

Bloomfield sustained a collapsed lung in a game against New Mexico State on Aug. 30. He was hospitalized in Las Cruces, N.M., until he flew home on Sept. 4.

Bloomfield spent two days in Mercy hospital upon his arrival in Sacramento. He soon returned to classes at Sac State until a scheduled surgical procedure met with complications on Sept. 19 leaving Bloomfield in critical condition which he remains in at this time.

Bloomfield’s unfortunate situation has been used as a rallying cry for his teammates. The Hornets are looking to one another for comfort in a tumultuous time while trying to stay focused on the task at hand. The team also acknowledges how hard it is to replace a man like Bloomfield in all areas of life.

Bloomfield is a senior defensive lineman who transferred from Sierra College before the start of the 2011 season.

To his team, Bloomfield was more than a dominant player on the field. Bloomfield is a model student who maintains a high grade point average helping to set an example for his teammates and fellow students.

“Academically he is a leader with a 3.0 GPA, so he does fantastic in the classroom,” said defensive line coach Jordan Gigli. “He is also our spiritual leader for (players off the field) as far as (the religious) part of their lives.”

Bloomfield was known for taking incoming freshmen under his wing to help acclimate them to the Sac State lifestyle.

“J.B. has been like my older brother since I got to Sac State,” said freshman defensive lineman Edmund Faimalo. “He is the one person who helped me out when I was struggling. He did it with every single freshmen and that is why everyone loves him so much.”

Head coach Marshall Sperbeck and his coaching staff are frequent visitors to the intensive care unit at Mercy where Bloomfield is being helped. Faimalo said he visits Bloomfield daily.

Gigli said Bloomfield’s father visited Sac State to address the team. His message was: life goes on, keep pressing and keep John in the prayers of the team.

The team, specifically the defensive line unit, is using Bloomfield as motivation on the field and has a not so subtle way of showing it.

“Whenever I step on that field all I think about is J.B., 43,” Faimalo said. “I have (his initials and number) written all over my arm. Whenever I get tired I think about J.B. and I keep pushing because that is what J.B. used to tell me to do. “

Faimalo said Bloomfield was the keystone for the defense. He said the entire defensive unit is playing with increased emotion and passion in the wake of Bloomfield’s tragic injury.

Even though the Hornets have stood strong in the face of adversity thus far, Gigli said they still need the support of the Sac State community to stand behind its football team to provide additional comfort.

The prognosis for Bloomfield to recover is unclear at this time as he remains in a coma. His team will keep fighting and playing the game the right way, bringing honor to the game as Bloomfield did.

Bloomfield’s impact as a leader has left a lasting impression and it has shown his presence in games still lingers as the Hornets attempt to fight on and win a Big Sky Conference championship

“Adversity comes in all shapes, forms and sizes and obviously this is the worst kind,” Gigli said. “There is a time to think about John and take care of John and there is a time for football and right now we have to balance that out.”

Come out to Hornet Stadium and support Sac State football when it returns home for a matchup against No. 5 Cal Poly on Oct. 27. Kickoff is at 6:05 p.m.

Joe Davis can be reached at [email protected]