July 22, 2014

Elyria
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Keystone’s Jim Piazza cleared to coach

The Keystone Wildcats and the Lorain County softball community got some good news Wednesday evening when coach Jim Piazza was released from EMH Elyria Medical Center.

Piazza

Piazza left the field Tuesday during the Wildcats’ 7-1 loss to Edison and was later rushed to the hospital by ambulance after experiencing what he described as a “severe pain going down the back of my neck into my shoulder and a tingling going down my arms.”

He was hospitalized for 24 hours but released into the care of his family physician after a series of tests came back negative.

“I have been released to go back to coaching from the doctors, but I still haven’t received clearance yet from my wife,” Piazza joked Thursday evening.

He said he hopes to be back in the dugout Monday when Keystone travels to Firelands.

Piazza, who was named the ESPNHS National Coach of the Year in 2012 after Keystone won the OHSAA Division II state championship with a 32-0 record, said he does not remember much from Tuesday’s game and praised his coaching staff who “stepped up and did an excellent job of running the team” in his absence.

Keystone has not played since Tuesday, with Patriot Athletic Conference games Wednesday and Thursday getting rained out.

Piazza said he and his family have received an outpouring of support since word of his hospitalization was first reported in The Chronicle-Telegram on Wednesday.

“My wife said people were calling all day yesterday to see how I was doing,” he said. “To know that I have been in the thoughts and prayers of so many people over the past few days is really touching. It is a blessing to know that so many people care.”

Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.