After what he has gone through, Jared Schenone’s toughness as a football player should be beyond question. How many players, after all, have trained despite having a ruptured appendix?
That is what Schenone did earlier this summer, not that he knew it at the time, of course.
Schenone, a senior quarterback for Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island, was with his teammates last month at a team camp at Stony Brook University when he felt what he described as really bad stomach pains. He was taken to a nearby emergency room, but there was no determination of what was the cause of the pain.
Schenone returned to training and preparing for the upcoming season when, two weeks later, he was rushed to another emergency room and told that his appendix had ruptured two weeks earlier.
“It was really bad,” he said.
This was serious business. A ruptured appendix can be fatal, so Schenone is fortunate in that sense. “If it ruptures, they say it could become toxic in your body,” he said. “After three days you could die.”
Schenone had the appendix removed and is now able to show the scars by his abdomen to go with the unusual tale.
But Schenone has been unfortunate in another sense. He did not play a single snap last season because of an injury to his right wrist, above his throwing hand, just a couple of days before the start of the season.
“It’s hard not to feel for Jared after missing a season and now to have this happen to him,” said Porters coach Jack Martilotta.
Two years ago, Schenone started a couple of varsity games in addition to playing junior varsity games, and he is itching to return to the playing field. Schenone was looking forward to this season and he trained hard in the off-season.
Connor Andersen, a senior who plays guard and middle linebacker, said the appendix scare was “shocking.” He said Schenone has been working as hard as any of the Porters to prepare for the new season. “He’s been dying for the past two years to play,” said Anderson.
So, instead of participating in drills on Tuesday morning, Schenone, wearing a black windbreaker, black shorts and a white cap, watched from the sideline of the practice field as his teammates toiled. Toward the end of the practice, with hardly any foot movement, he tossed a couple of footballs with perfect spirals.
For Schenone, football has become a waiting game. He is awaiting medical clearance to become an active participant in practices, something he hopes will happen soon.
“I missed all of a last season and now I’m going to miss some practices,” he said. “Hopefully in a couple of weeks I’ll be ready, but I feel good.”
Asked if he thinks he will be ready to play in the season-opening game against Wyandanch on Sept. 12, Schenone replied: “I’ll see. I hope so. It’s up to the doctors. I feel ready, but it’s their decision.”
Attending practices and watching them hasn’t been easy, he said. While the appendix was painful, he said, “it was more of a mental thing that was hurting me, not being able to play football for a while.”
He continued: “It’s the worst feeling ever. I worked so hard every day in the weight room, and now this.”
The Porters have other options at quarterback. Gene Allen (23 for 36, 233 yards, 3 touchdowns, 2 interceptions) and junior Matt Drinkwater (21 for 68, 278 yards, 2 touchdowns, 6 interceptions) threw all but two of the team’s passes last season. “They can step in, to be sure,” said Martilotta.
Especially in light of what Schenone has been through, coaches and teammates are pulling for him.
“He’s definitely an athlete, and we’re looking forward to using him as much as we can,” Martilotta said. “No one’s worked harder than him in the off-season. He’s in the weight room every day, hours at a time. He’s transformed himself. I’m hoping it works out for him. I think it’s got to. He’s put in so much time, it’s got to work out for him.”