FOOTBALL: Local coach returns to field after suffering a stroke

By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports

PORT CHARLOTTE — Typically when a stroke survivor is finally released from a rehab hospital, they make their long- awaited return home.

But not Port Charlotte’s own Terry Allshouse.

Allshouse recently made his long-awaited return to the Pop Warner football practice field on the day he was released to coach his junior varsity team. It was a long journey back to the gridiron for Allshouse, who woke up one morning in January before collapsing and suffering a stroke.

The 47-year-old spent two months between the hospital and rehab hospital trying to regain all physical function in his left side. The long-time area coach still has a ways to go, but that wasn’t going to stop him from getting back on the football field.

After all, it’s what he loves doing.

“The doctors at the rehab hospital thought it would be good for my mental health,” Allshouse said. “They wanted me to get back into the flow of things. With having a stroke and the brain damage part of it, they wanted me to get back into it. Anything like that helps you recover faster.”

Allshouse has been a prominent figure in Pop Warner for nearly a decade. He began coaching when his son Trace — now a senior offensive lineman at Port Charlotte High School — was 5 years old and playing for the Port Charlotte Bandits, which Allshouse has now coached for five years.

Other stops for Allshouse include head coach at DeSoto County Middle School for two years and defensive coordinator for a year at DeSoto County High School. But his coaching home is in Port Charlotte, where he’s coached peewees all the way up to the highest age group.

“He’s just been a figurehead with our organization and is very involved with the high school as well,” Port Charlotte Pop Warner president Shea Davis said. “When you have that type of longevity in an association, not only do the children but the parents and the other coaches look up to it.”

Due to his current limited physical activity, Allshouse was given a scooter that Davis makes sure is charged every night. Thanks to help from his son Trace and others, Allshouse said he’s able to make it work on the field.

“It’s interesting. I’ve got pretty good assistants and my son helps. They do a lot of the demonstration so I’m more of the brains of the operation — doing a lot of the administrative stuff, scheduling, putting the plays together and evaluating the talent and putting the players in position. The other guys kind of run the practice and I kind of tweak stuff up on the back end,” Allshouse said.

Allshouse still goes to a chiropractor for physical therapy when he isn’t strolling up and down the sidelines. But he still only has partial use of his left side and doctors have told him due to his age and how active he was prior to the stroke, he may not fully regain all physical function, though his doctors remain optimistic.

“The tough part is I can’t get out and do anything,” Allshouse said. “They just released me to go back to work so I’ve been working. I’m a physical guy. I go outside, I’m always outside fishing or coaching or doing something outside. I’m not the type of guy that’s going to sit around and watch TV all day. I can’t handle that, so that’s the toughest part, just not being able to do the things I could do before.”

But if his first day out of the hospital is any indication, nothing will stop him from trying.

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