NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

November 23, 2013

Spillane's sad ending

Area's top back from Triton will be sidelined Thanksgiving

Justin Spillane of Triton will not get the experience of playing a final Thanksgiving game.

The Triton senior captain and area’s leading rusher suffered a thumb injury in last week’s loss to Newburyport, an injury that required surgery Thursday. Spillane’s final high school game will prove to be the Newburyport contest, in which Spillane had three carries for a loss of one yard.

Spillane suffered torn ligaments and a hairline fracture of his thumb. He also had to have pins inserted into the thumb in order to keep it together. If Justin had his wish, though, the surgery would have been delayed until after Thanksgiving.

“I asked the doctor if I could have surgery after the Thanksgiving game so I could play,” Spillane said. “The doctor said no because if I played with the injury, I may never be able to move my thumb again.”

Spillane likely pondered the idea of playing anyway.

While the injury is going to keep Spillane on the sidelines for this Thanksgiving Day game against rival Pentucket, he knows that he can still have a positive impact on his team’s success.

“I’m going to be on the sideline,” he said. “Today was my first day back to practice. I am just trying to do what I can to get the team ready. On Thursday, I am going to be on the sideline cheering them on and helping them to win by doing anything possible.”

This type of maturity and team-first approach earned him great praise from Triton head coach Pat Sheehan.

“(Justin’s) a captain for us,” said Sheehan. “He’s come a long way maturity-wise. He was a tremendous leader on and off the field this year. He has been a vocal leader and a leader by example, a hard worker. He’s like a coach on the field cheering on our running backs during practice. He has come a long way as a person this year. “

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