NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

December 6, 2012

Man of Tarr

Byfield tailback caps great career at Bentley

Bentley University running back Bobby Tarr had a bad habit of getting hurt.

“My mother used to always joke about it,” Tarr says of his habit of stockpiling injuries. “There was the skull fracture, the hip surgery, and then came the heart thing, and that was all within a span of 14 months.”

The 14 months in question encompassed the end of Tarr’s senior year at Bishop Fenwick High, where he suffered a skull fracture while “fooling around with some friends”, but still became the third-leading rusher in state high school history with 5,598 yards.

Based on that performance, Tarr was recruited to play for Bentley, but just before his freshman year began, he required surgery for a hip labral tear.

“My hip joint didn’t grow the right way,” said Tarr. “The bones were rubbing in the joints in the socket.”

With that out of the way, Tarr thought he was ready to play football. Then he began having chest pains.

“I woke up in the middle of the night,” says Tarr. “I didn’t think it was anything.”

Moved by his mother to go to the hospital, the Byfield resident headed to Anna Jaques Hospital where he was given an EKG and told he was having a heart attack.

“When they said I was having a heart attack, that was pretty scary,” said Tarr. “I was 18, I was pretty active. I just didn’t really understand it. They put me in an ambulance and shipped me down to Mass General. They ran some tests on me, and they found out it was myocarditis, a virus that settled in my heart. Where I lucked out was, I had the symptoms of a heart attack. Some people don’t, and it can either permanently damage your heart or kill you if it goes unnoticed. I had temporary damage, nothing too severe.”

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