Newburyport quarterback Connor Wile had no idea how much his athletic career was about to change when he made a dive back to first base during a baseball scrimmage against The Governor’s Academy last spring.
“I was sliding back to first, and it just popped out,” says Wile.
The right-hander had suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder. After having set the Clippers’ touchdown and passing yards records on the gridiron last year, Wile scrapped his baseball season, had surgery at the end of the spring, and suffered through physical therapy during the summer to see if he could make it back to defend the Cape Ann League Division 3 title.
“It was a long process,” Wile says of his recovery. “It was really stiff and really sore. There was a lot of scar tissue to fight through.”
Newburyport’s 6-4 season had to begin before Wile could fully recover and the Clippers saw junior Drew Bourdeau in the pocket, going 3-3 in their first six non-league games.
“Drew held his own,” says Clippers senior co-captain Sam Francis. “We couldn’t have asked for more from the kid. He beat Lynnfield and North Reading, which are great teams that could possibly go to the playoffs.”
Although Bourdeau played well, the Clippers were missing their star, and Wile made his senior year debut in Game 7 against Saugus.
“Throwing wise, I didn’t do too good, but I was just happy to be out there, to be on the field,” Wile says of his return in Saugus. “Physical-wise, contact, it was fine. I just wanted to take that first hit. After that, it felt just like last year.”
And the results were almost the same as last year as the Clippers defeated the Sachems for their first league win, 20-14, then spanked Triton at home, 35-15. The Clippers blanked Pentucket, 14-0, but came up short against Winthrop last Sunday, 18-16, for a 3-1 league record.