Having bicycled 90 miles the previous day in preparation for Pelotonia, all Scott Siebenaler wanted to do on the afternoon of June 28, 2017, was putter around his house and watch the miniseries "Band of Brothers" with his son, Michael.
Until approximately 1:30 p.m., that's exactly what he did.
"We were the only two home and in the middle of the episode, he noticed I'd taken my glasses off. He knows I can't see without them," Scott said. "From there on, I don't remember anything until the next day."
Michael, a senior forward on the New Albany High School hockey team, never will forget what happened next.
His father was suffering a ventricular tachycardia, a heart arrhythmia that was brought on by heavy blockage in both the left and right coronary arteries and high LDL cholesterol.
"I could hear (he was making) a gurgling noise, almost, and I was freaking out. I just remember calling the police and they transferred me to the paramedics," Michael said. "The paramedics told me to put him flat on a hard surface and to put my hands on (my dad's) chest and to count to four and then push down on his chest. Just like they tell you in CPR, I heard cracks and saw bubbles. I did that for maybe 20 seconds and that's when the first cop came in. The second one got there with the defibrillator and got to work.
"From then on, three more (police) cars got to our house. So did a fire truck and an ambulance. It felt like the whole New Albany police department was there."
But because he had been in the right place at the right time, it was Michael who had taken the first critical steps in saving his father's life.
"There was definitely a lot of adrenaline, but I wasn't really thinking at all," Michael said. "They were telling me what to do, and I knew that was what I had to do. It wasn't 'can I do it?' It was 'I have to do this now.' "
Scott, who is the director of planning and allocation at Express Factory Outlet, said he had had no inkling of any heart problems in the months and years leading up to the attack.
"I hadn't had pain. I rode 100 miles on (the previous) Saturday. I'd done Pelotonia every year since 2009," said Scott, who was 50 at the time and will turn 52 in February. "I'd been seeing a primary physician every year for 10 to 15 years and had been on medicine for my (cholesterol).
"It wasn't hereditary. It was just a culmination of my cholesterol being too high and just accumulating in a couple of spots."
Michael and Scott were the only two people home at the time. Scott's wife and Michael's mother, Kelly, and Michael's older sister, Payton, a 2016 graduate of New Albany, were not home.
Joey Mattevi, one of Michael's hockey teammates, remembers him downplaying the incident.
"I texted Michael right away and told him how amazing it was that he did that," Mattevi said. "My jaw just dropped. He didn't talk much about it. He just said it was scary."
Such an attitude does not surprise Eagles coach Luke Pavlas, who said Michael fills an unheralded role for the team. New Albany is 11-4-1-4 overall and 3-3-1-1 in the Capital Hockey Conference entering a Friday, Jan. 11, game against Columbus Academy. The Eagles were ranked fourth in the district and ninth in the state last week.
"He's one of these guys that is really important for a hockey team to have," Pavlas said. "He's not our best player. He won't go coast-to-coast. He does little things on the ice and off the ice that are important to keeping a team jelled together. His character is tremendously important to our whole team. He knows his role and is fine with that. He likes being a gritty guy that won't necessarily get the headlines."
Michael plans to major in political science in college, potentially at Ball State or Bowling Green, and play club hockey. Proud of him regardless, Scott admits he looks at his son "in a different light."
"I am so proud, one that he underplays the situation, but also that he reacted calmly and was swift about it and was at the point where he just had to act," Scott said. "Nothing could make me more proud than knowing that my son, in such dire straits, could react this way. Quite honestly, he couldn't keep his room clean to save his life, let alone save mine. But he could react as an adult better than most people would have."
Boys basketball coach sees progress
The boys basketball team's 3-7 overall record through 10 games, contests that were decided by an average of 10.4 points, reflected coach Sam Davis' observations -- and optimism -- about his young squad.
"It's taken a little while longer than I expected but we're seeing progress. We're just not finishing games the way I think we're capable of finishing," Davis said. "We've worked hard and we've defended well. We play well in spurts but if teams make a bit of a run at us, sometimes we've gotten away from what makes us good. A lot of times, we've defended well up and down the court but at the other end, when we're patient enough to get us into our offense, we have created some good shots.
"We haven't shot the percentage I was hoping for; we're maybe 20 percent from 3-point range and we were one of eight from the free-throw line at the end of the game against Groveport (a 46-37 loss Dec. 21). We were within one point of them with a minute left and they're a good team."
New Albany's wins before a Jan. 8 game at Reynoldsburg came against Mount Vernon, 59-52 on Dec. 15; Olentangy Berlin, 42-30 on Dec. 28; and Mifflin, 58-44 on Jan. 5.
The Eagles dropped to 0-4 in the OCC-Capital with a 65-48 loss to Canal Winchester on Jan. 4.
Jayden Lewis averaged a team-high 14.9 points through 10 games, ahead of Dillon Masters (10.0) and Keegan Schaub (9.8). Lewis was the Eagles' leading scorer six times in that span, Masters led the team three times and Schaub had a game-high 18 points against Canal Winchester.
"It's not a matter of not practicing well or not having the knowledge. The kids do," Davis said. "Performing well under the lights when the pressure is on is something that takes time."
Davis also is encouraged by the emergence of 6-foot-6 junior center Udai Singh, who has been in the starting lineup since a 46-41 loss to Big Walnut on Dec. 14. Singh averaged 7.7 points and 7.5 rebounds in the next seven games, including an 11-rebound effort against Berlin.
"He can put the ball on the floor and make some nice moves in the post. It's taken him a while but he's learning," Davis said. "He was a kid we were hoping (before the season) would come along and he really has. He's a presence we need inside."
Swimmers prepare for Northeast Classic
With a combined 12-2 record in dual meets through the first month of the season, the boys and girls swimming teams will travel Saturday, Jan. 12, to the Northeast Classic at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
Thirty-six swimmers will represent New Albany. All of them were scheduled to participate in at least one individual event, although coach Dave Wharton said those events were subject to change entering the week.
Swimmers must meet time standards to qualify for the Northeast Classic.
Branin Natatorium is the site of the state meet, which will be held from Feb. 20-23.
The girls team was 7-0 in duals and the boys were 5-2 before taking on Olentangy Orange on Jan. 8. One of the girls team's wins came against perennial power Upper Arlington, 93-92 on Dec. 15.
"The UA dual meet was good," Wharton said. "We're still finding everyone's best (events) to put the best lineup ever. Even in Canton, we won't have everyone in their best events."
Below are the coming schedules for the New Albany boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, hockey, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 11 – At Franklin Heights
*Jan. 11 – Home vs. Franklin Heights. The Eagles defeated the Falcons 73-47 on Dec. 4.
Jan. 15 – At Worthington Kilbourne
*Jan. 16 – Delaware at Gahanna Lanes
*Jan. 11 – Columbus Academy at Chiller Dublin
*Jan. 12 – Springboro at South Metro Sports
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 12 – Northeast Classic at Branin Natatorium in Canton
*Jan. 10 – Home vs. Franklin Heights
Jan. 12 – Central Crossing Invitational