ATTLEBORO (CBS) – AJ Quetta will return to the Bishop Feehan High School hockey team as a newcomer.
Quetta, who suffered a spinal cord injury in a game earlier this year as a member of the team, is joining the Shamrocks as assistant coach. He graduated from school last June.
“He is a wonderful individual and his presence on the field will be a driving force for our boys in the quest for the MIAA Division I State Title,” Middle School hockey program School Bishop Feehan said in a statement.
His primary responsibility will be working on practice films and striker and break games.
“I joined for 10 months; I don’t think I would do anything like this. I’m back in the game already,” said Quetta. “I have never had to say goodbye to the game like many seniors do. So I guess I’ll never have to say goodbye. “
Quetta was severely injured when he hit the board during a game on Jan. 26. He had spinal surgery in Atlanta and returned home to continue his recovery at Journey Forward in Canton.
“I think it’s great,” said David Franzosa, head hockey coach for Bishop Feehan, who assembled the coaching team. “When I asked him if he was ready to be a coach, I said think about it – he waited a second. He said, “I’m all in the coach.”
The coach said when considering the type of leadership and role model he wants for his new team, he can only think of AJ, who embodies the Feehan philosophy. Franzosa said: “Integrity, hard work, dedication to the community. “Boys are hallucinating.”
AJ’s insight into ice is of course an incredible asset. But his mental strength will be an example to these young men long after the hockey and high school season.
Athletic director Christian Schatz said: “His life experience just this last year has been more than ours. “What he’s able to bring to those kids… helping them to become better people is really something we’re really excited about.”
“I really wanted to be a friend, a mentor,” says Quetta.
Since the trauma, the local community has rallied around Quetta.
A GoFundMe for Quetta has raised more than $1 million to help his family pay for medical expenses.
In mid-May, several local sports stars helped organize AJ Quetta Golf Invitational at the Cape Club in Sharon, with all proceeds going directly to the Quetta family. Bruins legend Ray Bourque and Super Bowl champion Teddy Bruschi were among the big names at the event.
During last season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, Quetta served as banner captain for Boston Bruins fans for Game 1 of their second-round playoff series against the New York Islanders at TD Garden.
He was also named honorary captain of the 2021 Boston Bruins-MIAA Sports Spirit Awards.
https://boston.cbslocal.com/2021/12/02/aj-quetta-injured-bishop-feehan-hockey-player-returns-as-assistant-coach/ AJ Quetta returns to Bishop Feehan as assistant coach, 10 months after serious injury – CBS Boston