Ralph “Rafi” Montalvo, a quarterback for the Naval Academy and a former top recruit at Immaculata-La Salle High School, remains in a medically induced coma after a one-car accident Thanksgiving night in Miami.
His high school coach, Willie Trimmer, said things are “encouraging” and that there has been “improvement every day” at Kendall Regional Medical Center.
The hope is that by the end of the week, Montalvo will be taken off the medically induced coma, which has been used to bring the swelling down in his brain.
“The thing you’ve got to know is the Montalvo family is a tough family,” Trimmer said. “He’s going to make it.”
According to reports in The Baltimore Sun and Capital Gazette, after his delayed flight home for the holiday weekend, Montalvo and a friend, who was driving, went to get something to eat.
The friend turned one street too soon, driving the car into a house at the end of a dark, fog-shrouded street. Montalvo’s friend was also in the hospital in a coma, but no update was available on him.
Several of Montalvo’s college teammates as well as the Midshipmen’s coach, Ken Niumatalolo, visited the family Saturday.
The 20-year-old spent the 2011-2012 academic year at the Naval Academy Prep School. Montalvo recently went from the scout team to the travel roster as the third-string quarterback, and he was scheduled to dress for the Dec. 8 game against Army in Philadelphia.
“We just don’t know … we just pray for him. There’s nothing we can do; the doctors there are doing the best they can,” Niumatalolo told The Baltimore Sun. “When I went on Saturday he was doing well … we continue to wait for updates.”
At La Salle, Montalvo earned letters for football, track and field and lacrosse. He was named to The Miami Herald All-Dade team for 3A-1B in 2011. He threw for 2,003 yards, and had 18 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Montalvo also made the second team the year before. His father — also named Ralph — played football at the University of Miami.
Students at his alma mater have conducted prayer services since finding out the news. Trimmer said the family asked that Montalvo be kept in people’s prayers.
“Without a doubt, he is one of the finest young men we’ve ever had at La Salle,” Trimmer said. “It says it all by the Naval Academy accepting him. He’s just a gentleman, a hard worker and a leader. One of the best young men we’ve had at La Salle.”
In their first game back in Miami after going 2-2 in a tournament in Chicago, the South Miami Cobras went into Columbus’ house and took down the Explorers 54-32 on Tuesday night.
South Miami (3-2, 1-0 District 15-8A) started the second half on a 9-0 run and ended up winning the third quarter 14-2 to pull away and decide the game before it even reached the fourth.
The Cobras were led by senior point guard Jorge Perez-Laham, who had a game-high 15 points and eight assists.
“He started penetrating and dishing and getting easy baskets,” South Miami coach Robert Doctor said. “That helped us out a lot.”
Antravious Simmons, South Miami’s 6-9 senior center and a Virginia Commonwealth recruit, came up a point shy of a double-double with nine points and 12 rebounds. Joseph Lopez, a 6-7 power forward who transferred from Columbus, played his first game in a Cobra uniform Tuesday. He finished with eight points and four rebounds and anchored South Miami’s 2-3 zone, blocking former teammates on four occasions.