Feature of the Week
February 21, 2020
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
Retired CHP Emmons gets sentimental Cotati-based Yuba Bikes - Leader in the cargo bike industry JT Henley, a non-profit supporter RP City Managers then and now Morrow and baseball Astronaut has high hopes Cotati Chamber of Commerce celebrates 60 years SSU ranked as U.S. News ‘Top Public School’ Royal King, Freedom Rider In Memoriam Jud Snyder (1925-2018), Cantankerous Newsman RP Public Safety Dept. and Cotati Police Dept. promotions RP honors Sister City’s Ambassadors from Japan This is the zodiac speaking High school counselor retires again Field retires from Special Education Nafe Nafe, a seasoned performer I just make bowls! Factory and trades training facility at SOMO Village Harmony’s Joel, Cotati storyteller Brian Harvey’s love for cars Scott Goree, Executive Director of the Accordion Festival Rohnert Park’s Balldude, Leff Brown Lonnie Mack, a longtime barber and musician A roving community nurse in Cotati From farmland to vineyard Avila collects tokens A spirited heart with compassion Covering a multitude of braces in the local community Bringing positive to a negative world Celebrating 42 years of business in Cotati Friendly greetings at The Studio salon About Artful Arrangements Rohnert Park students get schooled in kindness Every day 22 veterans commit suicide RCHS alumnus moves on to the bigtime A Cub reporter’s first scrapbook Recognition of Oliver Fraenkle’s excellence in teaching A special class for children with autism The Cotati Fairy Tale dance brought out the best Grant helps City of RP prioritize creek clean up New gym dedicated and named after Henry J. Sarlatte A Reflection on Women’s History Month 35 years an educator Kindness and generosity comes from many corners of the world Cotati’s Veronda/Falletti Ranch Gegan, an educator of 32 years retires Peace Park at Rohnert Park’s Burton Center Local author tells her story Keeping the faith for 45 years From a garage to an authentic art studio Kitty Collins, an animal whisperer with passion 40 years in real estate and still going strong Cheryl Nixon and Friar Tucks Larry Phan, Living the American Dream Ferrari Salon Celebrates 34 Years Straightening spines for almost forty years A proud Cotatian A repair man with humor Hot cars and good-looking women A Swedish and German lass in Rohnert Park The Stones go to printing A dedicated Sonoma County gentleman Starting the 74th year of the Miss Sonoma County competition A night of pride for the Devil Pups “One Cold Night” raises money for SAY Pet peeves that irritate me (an article of opinion) Cotati Police Officer takes on new role Mastering the art of dance Nonn’s poetry inspired by RP Creeks Students help with rebuilding efforts Cotati’s tree lighting Marionettes at the local library Local Girl Scout Troops receive grant A walk on spot for Barbato RP grant to help host 2019 One Planet Summit 140 years of Japanese American History in new exhibit in Cotati Orion greets the public A new face at the school district office "Streetcar named Desire” stops at 6th St. Playhouse Flying Frog to sponsor upcoming Parkour Competition SSU to help with Mi Futuro Youth Healthcare Credo High’s reprisal: “The Aretha Tribute” Stories matter: Judson Snyder Physics in action at Technology High School Tech High Titans undefeated champions How to do origami Annual Holiday gift and toy drive kicks off The Zschach’s and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang SSU launches ‘financial literacy’ project with Redwood Credit Union Spreckels’ ‘Nutcracker’ ---Precision, color and elegance A day of wood and amazement Ensure holiday packages don’t get stolen DA’s office and Social Advocates for Youth selected to receive grant City of Rohnert Park celebrates Veterans Nov. 11 Change of seasons can be stressful Experience Credo High School Faith Ako: Creating “A Wonderful World” Tech High’s warm clothing drive huge success Get musical instruments back into homes Donaghey has new career after retirement

A sports doctor putting players together

  • Michael Sweeney M.D. (AKA Doc Sweeney) at his post on the Cougars' sideline keeping a watchful eye for any potentially injured players on the field from either team. Photo by Robert Grant

By: Irene Hilsendager
November 15, 2019

Doctor Michael Sweeney was born in Seattle, Washington, the son of William Alan and Sally Lou Sweeney. Brother Peter and Sister Alison completed the family.  At the age of four months old, the family moved to Richmond, Ca. as his father was a chemist who worked for Chevron but mostly did patents as a papermaker. He attended Terra Linda School for one year and graduated from Redwood High School in Larkspur. He attended Davis, Berkeley and the University of California San Francisco.

His very first stint was as a high school teacher in Frasier, Montana. Frasier is a small town amid an Indian Reservation and the weather was cold and relentless. 

Michael decided to go back to school and study to be a medical doctor. His residency took place at the Santa Rosa Community Hospital for three years.

When Doctor Sweeney’s first wife passed away from brain cancer, in due time he married Rorie and they became a blended family. He is very proud of all of the children: there is daughter Erin who lives in Oakland and works for a Shakespeare Company in Sonoma and is proud to be going to Israel, Kerri lives in Hawaii, Melissa lives in Sonoma County and is a photographer and Donald resides in Portland. Ore. and is a videographer. 

When leaving the community hospital, he was hired at Kaiser Permanente as a family doctor and practiced in the Santa Rosa Kaiser clinic for 27 years.   Sadly in 2015, Doctor Sweeney retired from the medical profession as a doctor at Kaiser, but the community of Rohnert Park has seen him around for 31 years on the sidelines of Rancho Cotate High School being the good and kind sports doctor. 

Michael was asked why he become the Ranch’s sports doctor, he said since he does all of the home games from the sidelines and has always loved athletics while growing up, why not let others enjoy life but in a healthy way.

When questioned about some incidents that happened on the field, he was quick to answer with, oh I have many stories, but this one sticks out. One of the players had his helmet twisted off his head and tore one half of his ear off. Doc says, “I just stitched it up and send him into the second half of the game.” 

Sweeney says he carries three bags at all times. His doctor bag, his tool bag and another bag just for jackets as it gets mighty cool at times waiting for the game to end. He loved working with Henri Sarlatte donning the Hawaiian shirt and shorts on for every game. And of course, now he gets to work with Henri Jr.  in the same capacity.

Another incident that was funny when he talked about a young guy that was big and was an all-League offense and defense for Santa Rosa High and in one of the games he told the doctor, “when I get tired I am going to go down, so take me out. After the young fellow had rested, he was sent back into the game.” Doctor Sweeney has relocated shoulders on the field for players and even did the same procedure on some cheer leaders. 

Doc Sweeney for years was a great biker but has had to slow down due to a very bad accident that kept him out of the medical practice for seven months but after healing his poor body, he went right back to Kaiser and took up where he left off. He is still part of the old biking racing team but doesn’t partake in too often. He also is associated with the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The good doctor says, I went into medical family practice because I loved to learn about human beings and how they worked and always love to help people. 

When inquiring as to why he has been a Ranch sport doctor for all those years and he replied, “I have stayed with the Ranch because it is a good program with a whole bunch of great guys, administrators, coaches and kids in a good productive place. This is a great program for the students that wouldn’t otherwise be very productive.” As for his leisure time, he only works 20 hours a week at Sutter Medical Center.