ST. LOUIS PARK (WCCO) — Ken Pauly is the boys’ hockey coach at Benilde-St Margaret’s High School. Now, Pauly is helping his players deal with tragedy.

He has been coaching high school at a high level and has seen much in his career. However, he never had to tell a team one of their teammates — and friends — may not walk again.

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“Easily the toughest thing,” said Pauly. “Hope’s a fragile thing and we’re gonna, we’re not losing sight of hope, you know. We’re gonna keep that alive, but the fact is that we were hoping for better news.”

Jack Jablonski was a sophomore, playing both varsity and on the JV team, when he was paralyzed. He’s a kid who friends and family said loves hockey, loves life and loves being part of a team.

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“He’s every coaches’ dream, every teachers’ dream, quite frankly,” said Pauly. “He lights up the locker room.”

Jablonski’s family and friends realize this is just the shock phase.

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“If we think that getting back and playing in a couple days is gonna end this, it’s not,” said Pauly. “It’s OK to hurt, it’s OK to be in pain. We’re in this together.”

Mike Max