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.

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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.

“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.”

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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.

“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