Muskego High School volleyball star recovers after near-death crash

MUSKEGO -- A Muskego High School student said his near-death experience changed his life in more ways than one.

"I hit the back of my head right here and then I was on the ground. I was bleeding like crazy," said Jake Strande, a Muskego High School Senior.

Strande was in the Wisconsin Dells riding in a golf cart with his younger sister over spring break. He doesn't remember much more. 

"We were in the golf cart, she was driving and she was going down a really steep hill and then she lost control at the bottom of hill and so I grabbed her and I threw her into the grass so she'd be ok and then I fell out of the driver's side," Strande said. 

He was sent to be treated at American Family Children's Hospital in Madison.

After being in an induced coma for three weeks, Strande couldn't move the right side of his body and he could hardly speak.  He has been through four brain surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy, consisting of volleyball moves.

"I'm not myself.  I've totally switched from the Jake I was before this to the Jake I am now because what I care about now is the import stuff," Strande said. 

For the Muskego senior, the important stuff is family, school and volleyball.

"I couldn't be more proud of him.  He's got a drive and a desire that I have never seen in any one individual before and it's contagious," said Joe Arbinger, the Muskego Boys Volleyball Coach.

Arbinger didn't think Strande would play this season and neither did his doctor at one point.

"I cried a little bit that day, but I took a breath and we moved on," Strande said.

Jake proved everyone wrong.  Today his coach called him the glue of the team.

"When he's in the gym at practice, practice is 10 times better, when he's in the game the energy level normally 10 times better, when he's on the bench the energy level is 10 times better," Arbinger said.

Jake said the love he has for his family is stronger than ever.  

"I don't even have the words to describe that they mean so much to me," Strande said.

His family on the court too. 

"They all just they motivate me to work harder and just being with them, playing with them, drives me," Strande said.
 

Print this article Back to Top