8-24 Issue:Layout 1
All Shore Media Sports Review
Titanic Comeback By Scott Stump – Managing Editor
Stark) for breaking his door and getting my jersey all bloody,’’ Soleo said. “I was asking questions of my mom, and she told me later that she had to lie because she didn’t want me thinking that I might not have made it.’’
alking toward the Keansburg locker room during a basketball game against Point Beach this past winter, a frustrated Frank Soleo stuck out his palm to smack open the door and exit the gym.
Soleo suffered artery and nerve damage, and badly cut the tendons in his middle finger. His arm looked like a hand grenade had gone off on top of it.
Minutes later, Soleo was on the ground, afraid for his life as blood poured everywhere from his mangled left forearm.
“It was like a freak a c c i d e n t , ’’ s a i d S o l e o , w h o is now a senior quarterback o n K e a n s b u r g ’s f o o t b a l l team. “I put my arm out straight to push the door a n d i t d i d n ’t g o a l l t h e w a y open. My arm went through the little window on the d o o r. I h a d n o i d e a I d i d anything at first, but I looked at my arm and saw a w h o l e b u n c h o f b l o o d . ’’ Soleo’s arm had crashed through the small window at the top of the door. He had then pulled it back out through the jagged glass, slashing his arm down to the bone and severing tendons, arteries and nerves in the process. He was rapidly losing blood, and meanwhile the game against the Garnet Gulls was continuing. Soleo’s first instinct was to walk back toward the bench, but assistant coach Jim McCarthy had been following right behind him as he headed to the locker room. Soleo said McCarthy had him exit the gym and get down on the ground while McCarthy yelled for the trainer. At the time, Keansburg did not have a fulltime athletic trainer, but trainer Julia Barnes had been hired by the school district to cover the game.
“I’ve got some nasty p i c t u r e s o f i t , ’’ h e s a i d before shaking his head. “It looked like meat just hanging off my arm. There was wire behind the glass, and I cut my hand pretty badly. I cut everything all the way dow n to the bone.’’
here right now. If she wasn’t there, I would’ve probably died. I asked my mom if I was going to die, and she later said that I could’ve bled to death.’’ Barnes elevated his arm and applied pressure to slow down the profuse bleeding from the damaged artery during the tense minutes before an ambulance arrived and raced him to Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank. Meanwhile, Soleo’s mind was overloaded with thoughts ranging from mundane to terrifying. Had he not been carrying his warm-up jersey in his right hand, he may have stuck his throwing arm through the window and all but ended any chance of playing quarterback again. “I was apologizing to Mr. Stark (Keansburg athletic director Tom
With the worst over once he made it to the hospital on the night of January 30th, Soleo began the arduous process of surgeries and rehabilitation work so that he could play his senior season of football this fall. A quarterback who threw for over 1,200 yards and ran for over 700 in his first year as a starter in 2008, Soleo did not want to have to spend his final high school season watching from the sidelines.
“I was asking all the doctors right away if I was going to be able t o p l a y a g a i n ,’’ Soleo said.
“Thank God we had a trainer,’’ Soleo said. “If she wasn’t there, I don’t think I would be
A significant factor working in Soleo’s favor was that Keansburg hired a full-time athletic trainer in late February. Kelly Gibson had coincidentally
Titanic Comeback page 14
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August 24 Isuue 11