By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
There’s not too many people who can take on a car moving at 30 miles per hour and win. Los Altos High School lineman David Tolmachoff is one of the exceptions.
The experience wasn’t by choice. It certainly provided a scare and lots of pain. Yet the unintended consequences like adding to Tolmachoff’s almost folklorish presence at school have been priceless for his teammates and coaches.
Tolmachoff will get one last chance to add to his legacy Saturday when the two-way standout lineman leads Los Altos against Colony in the CIF-Southern Section Central Division championship.
“We really just keep him around for the entertainment value,” Los Altos head coach Dale Ziola said of Tolmachoff. “But he’s a huge asset to the team. We’re glad he’s on our side and not someone else’s side.”
And yet despite all of the big sacks while playing defense and opening huge holes for running backs while playing offense, the thing Tolmachoff’s coaches and teammates are likely to share are the time he took on a moving car and won.
On May 21, the day after Los Altos’ school year ended. Tolmachoff and teammate David Jimenez were on campus to meet with University of Colorado recruiter Jim Jeffcoat. Following the meeting, Tolmachoff headed home on his bicycle. What happened next could have been tragic.
“I was right in front of the school, normally I cross (the street) right in the same spot and I guess I didn’t see the car because once I pulled out, there was a (Toyota) Scion and I took it head on,” Tolmachoff said. “After that, I just remember being airlifted and the lights in the hospital. I don’t remember anything beside that.”
Scoreboard: Tolmachoff 1, Scion 0.
Box score: Tolmachoff: Concussion, broken jaw, scrapes, bumps and bruises. Scion: Totaled.
The photo of the dented and cracked Scion are in Ziola’s phone and he shows them as a story prop. Whomever hears the story and sees the picture of the car usually laughs in amazement. But the day of the accident still haunts Ziola.
Read more in Aram Tolegian’s story LINEMAN.