By Dan Guttenplan
---- — Trevor Bradbury developed his football toughness on ramps and rails in skate parks around the Newburyport area.
The Newburyport captain is the rare football-playing skateboarder — or skateboarding football player. Bradbury hopes to take the field for the final time Thursday when Newburyport hosts Amesbury in one of the longest standing Thanksgiving Day rivalries in the state.
Bradbury has been sidelined since Newburyport’s playoff loss to Bedford due to a separated shoulder. At the time of his injury, Bradbury ranked third among all local players with 565 rushing yards and five touchdowns. He plans to see the doctor today for a final checkup before Thursday’s game.
“I went to the doctor last Monday, and we decided to do a reassessment (today) to see if I had enough strength to play,” Bradbury said. “You can ask my doctor, I’ve been trying to do everything I can to play. During fitness time and school time, I’m icing, stretching and taking Ibuprofen. It would mean everything to get out there one more time.”
Newburyport (5-5) earned a spot in the playoffs after starting 4-3 in its first seven games. At that point, Bradbury led the team in carries, rushing yards, total yards and touchdowns, but his largest contribution came on the defensive side of the ball as a strong safety.
“He’s the one kid we couldn’t replace,” Newburyport coach Ed Gaudiano said. “He’s one of the toughest kids on the team. He’s a quiet kid, but when he does speak to the team, they listen because he means what he says. That type of example isn’t lost on anyone.”
Bradbury was one of 12 Newburyport players unable to dress for the last game against Triton due to injury. Fellow senior Jacob Timony also missed the game with a torn labrum in his shoulder. Fellow starter Seamus Sullivan has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury.
“As a team, we’ve had a lot of injuries throughout the year,” Timony said. “Trevor and I are dying to play one more time on Turkey Day. But the guys get on without us. It doesn’t take everyone. The guys went out and had a huge win over Triton. It’s not about individuals.”
If Timony is cleared to play, he will likely require surgery after his final football game, meaning he will forego his senior hockey season. For Bradbury’s part, he doesn’t play a winter sport other than the occasional skateboarding adventure. He’s not worried about suffering an injury on the football field that will affect his skateboarding.
“I’ve been big into skateboarding since I was 5 years old,” Bradbury said. “I think football translates to skateboarding. Falling on the concrete can hurt a lot, so that helps me in football. I may need it on (Thursday).”